In October of 2016, Sihasin and the Jones Benally Family, Jess Klein and Mike June visited with Barbara K and Wolfgang Pracht of Sparrows Wheel in a small farming village in western Germany.
We decided to take a stand.
We decided to lend our music and our voices in solidarity with the people standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Together, we launched a digital album project and called it Swimming In Blackwater. We intended to help raise awareness and funds for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Dakota Access Pipeline Fund.
In December of 2016, with a halt placed on the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe called for people to leave the camps and go home.
Our project designed to support the people at the camps, were it to continue, would be in conflict with the Chairman's request for people to leave the camps.
But in our hearts we knew the conflict was not over.
Many recording artists had begun expressing their interest in contributing, so we looked to see if there was another community organization whom we could support.
Camp of the Sacred Stones was the first organized camp to take on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Camp of the Sacred Stones and owner of the land on which the camp was founded, was quoted in the UK Guardian on the day the construction was halted as saying “We stand. We don’t move. We don’t go nowhere. We came to fight a black snake. Until it’s dead, we stand. That doesn’t mean put it five miles up the river. That means kill it dead.”
Jess Klein and Mike June offered to co-produce a digital album supporting the Camp Of The Sacred Stones, where the people and the land came together and founded the movement of nonviolent protection of the Missouri River. People at the Camp of the Sacred Stones are remaining vigilant. We honor their spirits and support their endeavors to protect the water for all people and all living beings.
Swimming In Blackwater Photo by Ralf Merian