Largely out of the headlines, the ongoing protest on Standing Rock is shining a bright light on how the big-moneyed interests with political clout steamroll the disadvantaged in order to get what they need.
But in a rare David-vs-Goliath standoff, the Sioux tribespeople of Standing Rock Reservation are learning that they are not powerless. Their refusal to roll over and allow an oil pipleline to be built on their lands is growing into one of the largest resistance movements in recent years, drawing supporters from all over the country, and forcing the discussion of “Where do we draw the line?” in regards to our pursuit of depleting natural resources.
Activist Mark Morey joins the podcast this week to provide context on this unfolding conflict:
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I think we are in an era of self-organizing emergent social revolutions. I do not know what to call them. Even the Bernie Sanders campaign had qualities that unexpectedly, hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands, 50,000 people coming together for a candidate during a Democratic primary was just unheard of. Crashing all records.
This is another one of those in my mind. This particular one was started by teenagers and youth, believe it or not. When you do the research they stood up and they were the first ones to put their campsite down in that very location in Cannonball because they had this very deep and real sense of their future being threatened. I saw one of the teenagers, they went all the way to D.C. to speak with Bernie Sanders. Bill McKibben was there yesterday or the day before.
So there she is. She’s 16 years old and she says, I grew up on a reservation in the middle of this great place where my ancestors had been living here forever. There’s a kind of authority that comes from that lineage. They say clean water is our heritage and our right, and what we’re standing for the way we do things. She starts to cry thinking the oil corporations don’t care about her tribe’s children. The pipeline was going to run north of Bismarck, North Dakota, up there in the watershed, but they deemed it too dangerous for those residents so they ran it down by the reservation
That’s the pattern. Social justice and environmental damage are often correlated because they are at the margins and there’s no media there. You can ship uranium to the Navajo or whatever. What’s unusual is, standing up against literally the machine, the bulldozer, or standing up against the billion dollar oil energy companies. And these are the poorest people in our country. They are third-world poverty, 70% poverty people with their causes of death being things like alcoholism, and suicide, and diabetes — the kinds of things we see as the leading cause of death from depression and oppression. To see them stand up I think ultimately it has this mythic quality to it. The ultimate weakest, smallest, poorest person with the greatest spirit and most righteous stance: that you cannot drink oil. Once this thing gets routed, the 16 million people living downstream will all be affected.
It magnetized not just individuals to come help them, but all of the tribes in the U.S. sent representatives there. There are over 250 representative tribes there, which has never happened before in the history of the U.S. They’re putting up flags — there’s this long corridor of nations, sovereign nations, native peoples’ flags. There’s this incredible sense of an indigenous resurrection and power to the message they have for the modern world. Of course it’s in the context of climate change, all the stuff that is coming out around the end of nature as we know it. Perhaps these people have something to offer us. Also, non-native people are going there and offering resources and help around the country. There is something like 7,000 people camping there now.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Mark Morey (41m:55s).
Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson, and it is September 15, 2016 — my birthday. So, it does have that going for it. That is really irrelevant. Listen, if we scan the world’s predicaments with equal measures of dread and hope, people often ask me, why aren’t people doing something? Meaning usually, why aren’t people standing up and saying no? Why isn’t anybody protesting? The sad truth is that often people are, and you are just not hearing about it.
When the Iraq war protests erupted the largest anti-war protest in world history happened with over a million U.S. people showed up at the largest peacetime protest in its history. The New York Times saw fit to print the news on page A16, a little tiny column, saying only that, quote, “Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters marched in several demonstrations around the country today.” End quote. Really? Tens of thousands, huh. Of course the New York Times had deep conflicts of interest and promoted that war every step of the way including publishing falsified intelligence from unnamed U.S. officials. When the Occupy Wall Street protest came along, they were ignored and then denigrated by the mainstream press. So, if you have the impression that people are not protesting, not standing up, not finally saying no more, it may be because it simply has not been reported on.
Today, there is another protest going on that has become a movement and I want to be sure you know about it. Back in April of 2016 a few Standing Rock tribal members set up a camp in a small valley next to the Cannonball River protesting the so-called Dakota Access Pipeline designed to carry oil 1,200 miles from the Bakken oil fields, which we report on all the time to a distribution center in Illinois. That protest caught fire and that camp by the river is now larger than most small towns in North Dakota. Something big is happening, and it is much bigger than a protest to block something. It is about finally standing for something that needed to be done. It is about standing for something.
To discuss this with us today is a really good friend of mine, Mark Morey. Mark is a creative artist, a visionary educator, cultural engineer, and consultant who designs regenerative, holistic communities with timeless native principles. Really, it is very hard to capture the brilliant and cutting-edge work that is Mark’s mission in the world. Let us let that unfold a little bit for you in this podcast. Welcome, Mark.
Mark Morey: Thanks, Chris. Happy birthday.
Chris Martenson: Thanks. Listen, I really did not know how to introduce you properly, because your work in the world, it is so deep and complex. In your own words, who are you and what do you do?
Mark Morey: Well, I think artist has been something that I have worked with for a while because at some point I went off trail from the normal path of growing up in the 70s, and going to college and getting a job, and that whole career path. Certain things along the way, I think, disrupted that dream and maybe one of them was growing up in the nuclear age and the nuclear escalation between the U.S.S.R. and the United States was something that created a hypervigilance for me that right around the age of 13, 14 years old I realized, wow. We could be totally annihilated here as part of my childhood and other things after that.
Essentially, I basically wanted to work with my life and say, what could I do to make the biggest difference for the most amount of people that would last the longest amount of time? That’s been a driving set of questions that have led me to the term regenerative, for example. How can I leave it better than I found it? It has driven me to look at the core principles of what it means to be a human being, and look at the context of our history and step out of the bubble of thinking this is status quo, and just seeing some of the major trends that have happened. Although I grew up in the suburbs and watched the construction of entire neighborhoods in places I used to play. Then I could only use sidewalks that led to the mall after that.
I realized that human beings for most of humanity were deeply connected to the natural world with direct relationships to their sustenance and their wellbeing. As we have drifted from that there has been a big pattern of losing our relationship with the very thing that sustains us. For me, on a very systemic level, if we are going to create a more habitable world for future generations, that is at the core, is returning our culture, and our children, and our processes returning to a deep relationship with nature. It is a fundamental part of being human.
Chris Martenson: Great description, and it starts to speak to what I alluded to which is about the Standing Rock protest being for something. Let us turn to that now, because we could have a really deep conversation about everything you just mentioned and I hope we do, but for now, help paint the picture of the Standing Rock movement. How did it get started and what is going on there now?
Mark Morey: Like everything, you can just say, let us look at the triggers and the incidents of this very moment. It is also at the same time, we should look at how we got here. Flashpoints for large events are hard to track, sometimes. How did Occupy Wall Street and all the other protests that came out of that happen? Another one would be, Idle No More which came out of Canada. An individual who decided to stand and say, as a native person we exist and we have been marginalized for so long. We are not going to take it anymore. Then also Black Lives Matter. Another one that all of a sudden it is like the trend has been going on for a long time. It is not like there were not bad things happening 50 years ago or 100 years ago, but there are these flashpoints happening.
I think we are in an era of self-organizing emergent social revolutions. I do not know what to call them. Even the Bernie Sanders campaign had qualities that unexpectedly, hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands, 50,000 people coming together for a candidate during a Democratic primary was just unheard of. Crashing all records.
This is another one of those, in my mind. This particular one was started by teenagers and youth, believe it or not. When you do the research, they stood up and they were the first ones to put their campsite down in that very location in Cannonball, because they had this very deep and real sense of their future being threatened. I saw one of the teenagers; they went all the way to D.C. to speak with Bernie Sanders and whoever else was there. Bill McKibben yesterday or the day before.
There she is. She is 16 years old and she says, “I grew up on a reservation in the middle of this great place where my ancestors had been living here forever.” There is a kind of authority that comes from that lineage. They say clean water is our heritage and our right and what we are standing for forever and the way we do things. She starts to cry, thinking the oil corporations do not care about my children. The pipeline was going to run north of Bismarck, North Dakota, up there in the watershed but they deemed it too dangerous for those residents, so they ran it down by the reservation.
Chris Martenson: Too dangerous for the people of Bismarck, but not too dangerous for the people who lived out a little further south, who happened to be Native Americans.
Mark Morey: Exactly. That is the pattern. Social justice and environmental damage are often correlated because they are at the margins and there is no media there. You can ship uranium to the Navajo or whatever is going on. What’s unusual is, standing up against literally the machine, the bulldozer, or standing up against the billion dollar oil energy companies, and they are the poorest people in our country. They are third-world poverty, 70% poverty people with their causes of death being things like alcoholism, and suicide, and diabetes. Not the kinds of things we see as the leading cause of death, from depression and oppression. To see them stand up I think ultimately it has this mythic quality to it. The ultimate weakest, smallest, poorest person with the greatest spirit and most righteous stance, that you cannot drink oil. Once this thing is routed 16 million people downstream are affected.
It just magnetized not only people to come help them, but all of these tribes in the U.S. sent representatives there. There is over 250 representative tribes there, which has never happened before in the history of the U.S. They are putting up flags of their nations, and there is this long corridor of nations, sovereign nations, native peoples’ flags. When they come in there is this incredible sense of an indigenous resurrection and power to the message they have for the modern world. Of course it is in the context of climate change. All the stuff that is coming out around the end of nature as we know it. Perhaps the Anthropocene and the end of how we understand our world because we so affected it. Perhaps these people have something to offer us. Also, non-native people are going there and offering resources and help around the country. There is something like 7,000 people camping there now.
Chris Martenson: That’s amazing and I am noting here that it is a really complex history. You have touched on part of it which says, we tend to route environmentally hazardous things near the people who can put up the least amount of fuss. It’s not an illegitimate claim to say we are worried about our water. There was the Kalamazoo pipeline spill which just deeply trashed a whole bunch of the Kalamazoo River when a very tarry substance came boiling out of that pipeline. Pipeline’s burst. It happens all the time. This is a realistic concern. The history here I think is important. The land beneath the pipeline that was accorded to the Sioux people by the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. They have the treaty; 11 years later the U.S. government incited the so-called Great Sioux War, but that renegotiated that new treaty with the Sioux under the threat of starvation.
There is a very long and complex history of treaties being written and broken, written and broken, and every time the white man, to use that term, wanted something; oh, there is gold in the Black Hills. Oh, wait. We like to farm on this land. They would just “renegotiate” the treaties; meaning, break them and write them again. There has got to be a sense there among the people that, whatever the U.S. courts—I know there is a whole court battle around this Dakota access pipeline, but whatever the courts decide is really only as binding as until somebody decides to break it on the other side. There is not a really good history of trust here, is there?
Mark Morey: Right. I think they keep track of these things and I saw the number 560 treaties broken. It is an enormous legal history, when you think about if everything were the same. If native people had the same level of power and representation as the modern world. Everyone would be in jail. The reparations, the entire country would go bankrupt.
Chris Martenson: You have been there, right?
Mark Morey: Of course. Oh, no. Standing Rock?
Chris Martenson: Yeah.
Mark Morey: No. I just booked tickets yesterday to go out there. I have been supporting a network of people that I have been working with for the last 20 years, which I would call nature connection mentors in communities. People who want to raise their children from zero to appreciate and honor the natural world with actual naturalist knowledge of place. The origin of a lot of the nature connection movement; Richard Louv is a big spokesperson. He wrote a book called Last Child in the Woods who is concerned about a lot of modern maladies that children have today are directly related to the fact that they do not go outside anymore. They do not understand that their body is a natural thing and they do not move it, so they have obesity, and there is too much screen time, and all this kind of stuff. That is something to look into.
There is a huge movement out there, who have been sourced by indigenous wisdom and very directly so. People I have known like Gilbert Walking Bull came from South Dakota and spent years, and years, and years mentoring and sharing native knowledge with us, often because he was looking for any kind of allies as banks against the future. We are in a direct lineage of this man who has contributed so much of his life. He is a direct descendant of Sitting Bull on one side and Crazy Horse on the other, and even Red Cloud. There is a lot of grace that these nature connected communities have been supported, and I think there is a natural reciprocity that is emerging right now.
They all want to do something so I have been coordinating van loads of food, and firewood, and teepees, and gas cards. Whatever they need to make it through their experience there, to make it through the winter.
Chris Martenson: How have you been raising funds for them?
Mark Morey: I started a crowdfunding campaign. I researched really quickly; what was the best that had the right framing for it. It was not like Kickstarter. I found one called YouCaring which is a compassionate crowdfunding, like if your neighbor has cancer, or someone’s house gets flooded. I thought if the indigenous people are neighbors who are having a hard time, let us rally and support them. We raised $5,000 in about a week through that. Then I sent money in hand with a friend, a mutual friend named Tim who ended up there to go on a media journey to help tell the story, because it is not being publicized. He with some other friends of mine met people on the ground and said, what do you need, and just went and got it for them. There was really direct contributions of whatever people needed there. Often it was firewood, medical supplies, shoes, warm clothing, mauls and axes, a chainsaw, shelters. Things like that.
Chris Martenson: I want to sort of harp on something that I spoke to in the intro, which is, I am looking right now at the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times today here on my screen. Not one article about this. Not one. You just described this as the largest gathering in all of history of sovereign nations of Native Americans coming together. That seems like fairly big news, but it is not on the front page. When I did a Google search using the term, Standing Rock, and I constrained it to the last 24 hours I did not see one article in a major outlet listed on the front page. Huffpost, sure. Grist, Yes Magazine, that sort. No mainstream coverage. Do you know, are there any mainstream outlets there and are they covering this?
Mark Morey: I saw one article on the cover of the New York Times.
Chris Martenson: So far. I did not see it recently, so that must have come out a while ago.
Mark Morey: It was. It was last week. That was impressive. I did not think I would see that. It was very impressive and it was not a terribly biased story, but there have been plenty of biased stories coming out. North Dakota is not a wealthy state, as far as I know, and I think a lot of the political policies follow that economic trouble. As the economy declines so does rights and freedoms. The governor is pulling a couple of moves that are questionable, including negative media slandering. They bring violent dogs to bite and attack. They would call themselves protectors. They are not even actually doing anything violent. Then they put in the media, protestors turn violent, but they are the one that sent these security forces in with these awful attack dogs. It is like a human humanitarian crisis.
Chris Martenson: This is a private firm that got hired in. I think G4S was involved, maybe some others. These are private so-called security firms and these firms have been associated with some really awful stuff around the world that has been done under their name and for pay. They brought in really the topline mercenaries to go up against these people. It is not even like they hired in a few extra off-duty state policemen. They brought in what I consider to be the most hardened mercenary firm we actually have available to us right now.
Mark Morey: Yeah. It is definitely dark. It seems that the mindset is that, we are going to get away with this. We just need to crush this. I think that media actually worked against them, which is one of the benefits of the Internet and technology today; some people feel conflicted about using gas generators at this water protector camp against oil pipelines, or using media when you are a native person. When you consider the complex world we are in, it is the very thing that is bringing attention to a marginalized people. Prior to that, it was whoever controlled the media controlled the story.
When those images came out around the dogs and the pepper spray; you have to picture, these people are standing there with no weapons with their arms in the air saying, we are not going to let you bulldoze this land. This is actually a sacred site, not just water protection here. The mercenary type people with their dogs, which are frothing at the mouth and barking and biting, they just took the mace and went down the line of people and sprayed it in their face. It was just that blatant and they filmed the whole thing and that media went viral. That caused thousands of more people to sign on and send money to the legal campaign. I think they raised over a million dollars at the Standing Stone legal fund crowdfunder. They have financial support to just keep taking this court, keep representing all those broken treaties as well as their current ecological concerns, and as well as their cultural concerns about the destruction going on.
There is so many areas that this legal direction can take place, but I think the biggest part is in establishing a new world view that this is not going away, and that even more so, the voice of the indigenous is actually, in my opinion and belief is; it is the very thing that is going to get us out of the systemic issues that we are in. Not pushing oil, dirty oil even harder after there is 300 oil spills a year from pipelines. Why don’t we just stop that given the climate crisis, given the Anthropocene. There is every good reason to do so. We are going to have to fight a little bit more than just discuss. They are saying, we are going to put our bodies on the line. We have nothing left to lose and that is inspiring.
Chris Martenson: Let us talk about that larger movement here, then. Really, you talked about all these nucleation points where things are bubbling up. But basically, if I could put them under an umbrella it is, status quo is not only not just advantageous for us but it is actually harming us. Whether we are looking at that through the Anthropocene lens and what is happening with global climate change. We are looking at the great wealth divide as the Federal Reserve prints more and more money, but it magically only happens to enrich a very, very tiny elite. Whether we are looking at the degree to which the United State police forces have been militarized and have adopted those military tactics to bring home, not to protect and to serve, but to treat people as combatants who need to be neutralized.
I have seen the militarization language go on. There was a policeman who was just fired because he refused to shoot a man who had a gun in his hand who was saying, shoot me; shoot me. He preferred to try and talk him down. His force fired him because he did not neutralize a threat, is how they put it, or eliminate a threat. One of those two. A lot of people are coming together and saying, no, this does not work. They are younger people, increasingly, and I love to hear that this started with some young people.
You work directly with young people. I would like to ask about; I am asking a hopeful question. I want to hear that something is starting and that people are saying, enough. If you cannot help me out, try anyway.
Mark Morey: And the question is?
Chris Martenson: Is this really part of something larger, or is this just another protest that is going to just sort of flare and burn?
Mark Morey: Yeah. I have asked myself that 100 times in the last week. I like to not be swept up by just heated emotions. I like to really consider what is happening. I am 50 now, and I have seen a lot of things in the last 30 years and I think this is a decided turning point when it comes to the intersection between climate change, indigenous wisdom, and activism across the board. Even Bill McKibben, who is part of 350.org, he said, he has written tons and tons of books and been advisors to Presidencies and he is part of huge coalitions. He sits at Bernie Sanders and his campaign that, he said we are no longer in a dialog. I thought we were having an argument. Meaning, a scientific discussion and discourse on policy and where to go and all the data is out since the 90s. Actually, it has been out longer than that, but they hid it. He said, we are actually no longer in a discussion, because it actually takes two people to have an argument. We are actually in a fight, because that is just not going to stop.
He actually redirected his entire movement to basically say, go put your bodies on the line and keep the carbon in the ground. That is where we are at. We have five years. We cannot talk for five years. He redirected tens of thousands of people to actually go stop the Australian port from shipping coal and many other places.
There is an emergent thing happening in more areas than just this one. There are youths right now, there is a group of 17 youth who are suing the Federal government based on negligence that they are not providing a habitable future for them. They are in the Oregon courts right now. I believe they will probably go all the way to the Federal courts over this. That is something that has never happened before. Children suing the Federal government. Just the whole community image of children going to their parents saying, you have been negligent for my future. You should be responsible for this conversation, but I have to stand up. There is something completely poetic, and moving, and sad, and inspiring all at the same time. That kind of thing has just never happened before.
When the children bring their youthful spirit and action together, I think maybe shame is too strong a word, but it has this kind of connotation of, oh, I am embarrassed at my unconscious behavior. I have been stuck in status quo. I have not really questioned things, and they are right across the board.
Chris Martenson: Shame might arise, but really that is a personal decision as to whether you go to shame. I think the children are saying, you have been acting out of integrity and that can be a shameful moment when you realize that is true. They are saying, you have been saying this and doing that. It is about the actions. I agree with Bill McKibben. It is a fight.
My framing on this is that, this is not about the information. It has never been about the information. It has always been about the fact that we have belief systems that are entrenched and there is a status quo defense belief system out there that can’t let go of the idea that we are clever monkeys who are entitled to grow infinitely, forever, exponentially and we are never going to have to take a look at that behavior set because we do not want to. Kids who grew up differently are saying, wait a minute. I am not as wedded to that belief system you happen to have. It never worked for me anyway. That whole American Dream thing, keep telling yourself that. We know better. It does not exist.
They are starting to step up and say, wait a minute. This doesn’t make any sense. It is not a conversation. You cannot have a conversation with a belief system. It is wackadoodle. There has to be something more than saying, I am going to continue to engage in dialog with you. Protesting is one way, but there is a resignation that can happen, as well. A checking-out and saying, I am just not participating. I am not going to engage with your system here.
Mark Morey: Right. Like, what’s the alternative?
Chris Martenson: What is the alternative?
Mark Morey: I think the door that is always an option that is sitting there that can go into denial is — it is just a little easier if I stay in the current system and maximize it a little bit more. I might even be aware of options, but I am just going to stay here a little bit longer, a little bit more, even though I know it is heading towards a brick wall. I read the articles every day, but I still go to work because that is my job and I have got to stay in the system. I think there is a lot of, what would you call that, inertia that keeps people in the same spot. Whereas, if you practice going off trail, taking risks, maybe departing the secure job or downsizing your family to a smaller economic and ecological footprint, it gives you more freedom to actually act in alignment with your human values. You could say the spiritual capital that you get in replacement of the financial capital actually makes life meaningful. So, what kind of adult do you want to be in the world? What kind of surplus of vision and meaningfulness do you want to leave are based on those choices.
For me, and I have spent a lot of my life organizing outside the system and seeing it pay off in moments like this. Almost like it has been dormant or slowly percolating for a long time, where there is tens of thousands of people who are in positions of privilege, positions of economic advantage because they are not native. They can turn to this situation and all act in concert and send millions of dollars, or tens of thousands of dollars, or hundreds of vehicles to that place and stand there with them. It is no longer a bad native people issue. This is across the board human issue. Across colors, across tribes.
So, I think this is the beginning of all sorts of energy project issues that are going to happen more, and more, and more and we will look back on it and say, that was a landmark turning point where the people stood up.
Chris Martenson: I like this idea of the elevation of the human issues because it is impossible to open a newspaper and not discover a disgusting anti-human issues that pops up and it just sort of accepted. When I read that in a state where there is a marijuana legalization effort, that one of the chief contributors to the anti side of that equation; the people who are pouring the most money into preventing marijuana legalization are companies that manufacture opioid substances. The ones, particularly, who are doing the sublingual fentanyl or the company that makes OxyContin, they pour hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars to block medical marijuana or recreational marijuana from coming in because the data shows their business would suffer. The data also shows that these companies are responsible for many thousands of deaths from overdoses and addiction things that destroy lives.
This is just reported in our news like, oh, is not that curious? No, it is not curious. It is anti-human. How far off the reservation, to use that term, how far off of reality do we have to be where we go, oh. This makes sense for companies who are knowingly engaged in a product set that is anti-human life. That they can try and block something that is extremely safe and natural, and we are okay with that on some level. It is just bizarre. To me, there is so much fuel here, which is what I am trying to tease out that is happening here. People are rising up and saying, stop, already. Just stop. What do you do when you are up against an insane adversary? Do you try and match their insanity or do you do something completely different? It is an open question. Is this protest the right way? I do not know, but I am encouraged that people are doing whatever they can in this moment.
Mark Morey: Right. I am with you. There is an effect of what is different. Here is an example of what is different, as odd as this might sound to some of the listeners. This encampment, there is actually a couple of them there in Cannonball. The daily practice that is happening, this is organized by native people and this is their house. When you go to visit there, this the way they do things, that there are ceremonies all day long and all night long that are healing ceremonies, that are prayerful ceremonies using a sweat lodge or their sacred pipe, or other methods of calling in spiritual support and asking for, what is the best way for us to proceed. That is charging their environment every single day to where the chief, the chairman of the Standing Rock tribe makes these announcements through the elders, saying, the spirits have told us that, as long as we are nonviolent we are going to win this. They are completely clear about that.
This is not like an antagonistic, fight fire with fire situation. This is sourced from the earth, from their ancestral traditions, their empowered peoples to do this in a Gandhian way. I think something completely new is happening here, and it is just off the radar and people do not understand it. They think they can get rid of it. It is only going to grow stronger, because it is righteous in the literal sense.
Chris Martenson: I love hearing how that is new. Listen, I think people should find out more about this and be following this in something other than just through the headlines and the articles that are out, because there is something a lot deeper happening here. How would people follow this if you could give them advice?
Mark Morey: Well, I have just done a little bit of research myself, and I have come across a number of people who are reporting directly from the camps who are native and they have little media outfits there. They are going around and interviewing people and it is the cleanest, direct sense of what is happening there at any given time. You can always get the real story when you tune into their live Facebook feeds. I am posting lots of things through a page I created called the Red Cloud Defense Center, and it organizes those live media feeds and it also organizes people who want to send things and do not know what to do or where to go.
Chris Martenson: Is that a Facebook page?
Mark Morey: The Red Cloud Defense Center is what we called it.
Chris Martenson: Yeah. That is a Facebook page?
Mark Morey: Yeah. We also, there is a guy named Myron Dewey who does really great live posts about what is going on there. The Standing Rock reservation, their main camp, I think is called Sacred Stones camp dot org. There is an FAQ there and information that you can check in with. Yeah. Those are some of the ways. You can also find lots of native media outlets that are coming out of there, but those are the ones that I have been using.
Chris Martenson: Fantastic. Here is the thing. The people listening to this who would like to help, I think that you have got a really direct feed for helping and of course there would be other ones they might be able to source, as well. What is your crowdfunding page?
Mark Morey: It is under YouCaring. YouCaring.com and it is called Immediate Resources for Standing Rock Water Protection Camps. They redefine the language as not protesters. They said, we are not protesting anything. We are simply protecting what is. It is immediate resources for Standing Rock Water Protection Camps.
Chris Martenson: Fantastic. We will provide a link to that, as well, below this podcast because I think people should have the easy opportunity to contribute to that. I want to just point out that, to contribute to that is to contribute to something that is more of a movement and it is not a protest. It is a protection. This is direct action. If you are thinking, why isn’t anybody doing anything? Well, they are. This is what it is going to have to look like. People, warriors like Bill McKibben who spent I do not know how many years and how much of his life banging his head against a brick wall thinking that somehow that brick wall was listening. It is not. Beliefs do not change with information. They have to be confronted and sometimes it looks like an intervention and it is not pretty.
Really in some ways, I think what Standing Rock is about, it is an intervention that is saying, stop modern people. You have some other things you need to consider and think about here. It is really an opportunity to sit back and take stock of where we are. Boy, that has to happen.
Mark Morey: Yeah. It is inspiring also to engage with the indigenous conversation, because it does shift your worldview, too, which is a very personal action that you can take is to seek to understand and share the story. So, that is one of the things that happens when you go there. You could go in there as a white man who represents everything we are talking about and a native elder will walk up to you; this is a story I heard over and over again. They will shake your hand without even knowing you and say, welcome. Thank you so much for coming here. I do not know what drew you to come, but you are totally welcome. Thank you — and they give you a gift.
Chris Martenson: Wow. Here is the thing. If you are thinking about giving to this, please do. This is a really incredibly worthy cause. I hope it has great legs to go beyond even this one pipeline issue. This is the kind of thing that I think we have all been waiting for. When is something going to happen? It is happening. It is not really being reported on all that much. If somebody does give, how could they be connected to what happens with that gift? How will they know it got there? Are you harvesting any stories about how people use the money? We had the best campfire ever, because of the wood that came from this money. How are you connecting those dots, if you are?
Mark Morey: On the YouCaring page I am posting fundraiser updates of the people who have gone out there, the things that they are contributing, the names of the people we are meeting, and the personal stories. I am also just putting links to videos on the Red Cloud page that I mentioned. There is lots of intimate ways to feel connected to this. That is one of the benefits of collectively putting our resources together for it is, we feel like, I could send $25 and not know what happens, but if I am part of $10,000, I know we bought a winterized, four-season wall tent with wood stove for the security team who are there to create peace within this camp. Here is the name of that guy, here is his photograph, and here is the teaching he gave us about this. It is very immediate and very fulfilling.
Chris Martenson: I really think this is very much worth supporting. My wife, Becca and I, we just had a podcast where we talked about some of the lessons harvested from Art of Mentoring. People may be familiar with that if they have heard that podcast. Really, one of the pieces was around, how do we support people? Obviously, there is financial support. It is important. That lets people know you are supporting them. There is lots of other ways to support people who are trying the new things that need to be done.
Can we just be honest here? The status quo, not only can it not be preserved, but it really should not be in lots of ways. There are things we need to be doing differently. Always difficult to know what those things are, but we should support whatever we can see coming along and not all of them will work. Hey, you know what? That is part of being an entrepreneur, in essence. We have to try stuff and we are going to put it out there and we will see what works because the old way is not working anymore. In particular, if we think it is going to end in the destruction of massive ecosystems, which it already is on its way to doing. Hey, that is a sign maybe it is not working. Yeah, let us get creative and try some things.
This is more to me than some native people trying to block a single pipeline. It is really what is under that, that needs to be talked abou,t because it is not about this pipeline. It is about this human experiment and asking the questions that the status quo that means your media is representative of, it does not seem to be interested in asking. Young people are, and curious people are, and people who have woken up from the dream have started to ask these questions. I think that is what is really going along here. Of course, you have to dig around to find it, but these things are happening. It is getting hard to suppress them.
Mark Morey: That is right. Very good. One of the things even if you want to think strategically about this. If we want to create health and wellness and be resilient, valuing diversity is a good strategy. The marginalized people at the edge actually have a completely different worldview that can help us solve a lot of problems that we are not thinking of ourselves. That alone is a good thing to lean into and say, how can I explore that difference? How do they see the world? What if we brought them to the table and made them a partner in making decisions for the future generations? What would they say? That would be a good investment.
Chris Martenson: Absolutely. Fantastic. With that, Mark Morey, thank you so much for you time. Your website, please, so people can find out more about you.
Mark Morey: Thank you. www.aconnectedleader.com.
Chris Martenson: A connected leader, all one word dot com?
Mark Morey: Correct.
Chris Martenson: All right. Listen, I hope to have you back on, because I want to talk about some fantastic articles that have been coming out lately that we have been exploring about how kids learn or do not learn. All of that. Of course, you are one of the seminal people who really influenced my children and my thinking on education and how all that works. There is just so much to harvest from you. Thank you for your time today on the Standing Rock issue.
Mark Morey: Thank you very much, Chris, and happy birthday.
Chris Martenson: Thank you. It is just a two hand kind of a thing these days. Once you are over 50. Well, happy birthday, but another one. There it is. Thanks a lot.
Mark Morey: All right. Have a good day.
Chris Martenson: Thanks, Mark. You, too.
Mark Morey: Bye.