Standing Rock … Are We Willing to Change?
~ Debby Ball

The camps at Standing Rock have brought much

attention to the Dakota Access Pipeline which has

the potential to pose a serious threat to the water

supply of the nearby Standing Rock Reservation.

On so many levels, this pipeline is just wrong.  It is

a threat to the water; it is being laid through sacred land; and through Treaty Territory. So many Indigenous Nations across this country, as well as people who have traveled to Standing Rock from many other countries, have come together in one of the greatest responses ever, to stand together for the water, the earth, tribal rights and sovereignty, and future generations.  

It is a monumental movement that we should all pay attention to. It is a movement we should take to heart. It is a movement that should not have needed to happen. It is a movement that is not only a response to the greed of the oil industry, but it is also a movement that we all must accept responsibility for. 

We have developed such a reliance on the oil industry to stay warm, to drive cars, to have beautiful homes, clothing and so many other material goods that are also reliant on fossil fuels in order to be manufactured and supplied to you and to me, the consumer. For most people today, not a second thought is given to what we consume. We have been good students. From a young age, we have been conditioned to be good consumers. And we have learned this lesson well. So many just cannot seem to imagine life any other way. This material world, this fossil fuel driven world, the lifestyles maintained by fossil fuels. The lifestyles that wars are fought for...SO. We come to critical moments, moments like Standing Rock. Moments where passions are strong and people stand for changing the direction we have been travelling far too long. Moments that beg reflection on what we are doing, on what we can do. And we can do something. 

We must make changes. We must begin to look at the way in which we consume. We must begin to ask the questions: How can we do this differently? What can I do to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels? What can I give up? The answers are there. Going into a new year, I will also reflect on changes I can make. I will explore the alternatives. I will talk with experts. I will seek answers. And perhaps the next time we meet, I will have some resolutions, some ideas, some insights that I can share. We all know the little steps we can take: Travel less, commute with others to work, walk more, fly less, turn off lights when not needed, solar, reduce consumption of material goods, reuse, recycle. Yeah, we know the small let's go further.

Photo Credit: Chase Voirin