Native Hope’s vision continues to focus on empowering Native Americans and being an extension of their voice, their culture, and their convictions. Last week, as most of us know, President Trump issued an executive order to continue the implementation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Regardless of politics, one point is clear: American Indians view themselves as the protectors of this land, its waters, and its inhabitants. Losing sight of what is at stake is easy to do; however, according to an ancient Native American proverb it should be simple: "Treat the earth well—We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
Native Hope finds the fate of the Dakota Access Pipeline important to our mission: providing a hopeful future for young Native Americans and for all Native Americans today. Because of the impact the pipeline may have on the health and well-being of generations to come, we asked three Lakota men to give their perspective on the issue.
For Native Americans, their culture, spirituality, and identity are directly entrenched with their land. The earth is a living, breathing entity to cultivate and care for, so that future generations can continue to thrive long after we are gone. As Wanbli Chea states, “We’re still here. Who we are is still home to this land, and we’re still going to own up to who we’re called to be. We’re the caregivers of this land, and we care for Mother Earth.”
At Native Hope, we believe in honoring American Indians and their culture with a message of hope and dignity.