The daring contemporary fantasy novel by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera, Earth Sentinels, has become eerily prophetic, showing similarities to the courageous Dakota Access pipeline protest in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has stated that they do not want the pipeline to cross their land, because if the pipeline leaks, which is almost certain, it would contaminate the tribe’s drinking water (and potentially a million other people’s water supply), crops and burial grounds. And despite the protestors’ claims that they have been peaceful, there have been 20 arrests.
In the book, Earth Sentinels, indigenous people from around the world come together to demand that world governments stop the destruction of the planet caused by greed and corruption. However, rather than making Earth-friendly changes, the governments predictably retaliate with force and use the media to demonize the tribes, labeling them as domestic terrorists, instead of activists. This reflects real-life protests where protecting the planet can be extremely difficult, and potentially deadly, especially if it prevents corporations from making money. An excerpt from the book explains why indigenous people put so much on the line to protect the earth: “To our people, every time a forest is cut down, it is an attack against us. Every time toxic chemicals are dumped in a river, it is an attack against us. We see ourselves as part of the earth. When she is attacked, we are attacked.”
Here’s what Dennis Nighthawk, healer, spiritual leader and tribe member of the White Laurel Band of Cherokee had to say about the book Earth Sentinels, “This fiction reads as a non-fictional account of the spiritual side of the indigenous people and the problems facing our world today. A must read!”
Earth Sentinels make a comparison between the massacre at Wounded Knee and the Oglala Lakota militants and members of the American Indian Movement occupation of a town in 1973. The rebellion occurred after decades of police corruption and brutality, unfair federal policies and the 371 treaties that had been broken by the US government, resulting in an FBI intervention and shootout that left two Native Americans and two federal agents dead, in addition to 12 indigenous members who were intercepted while loading supplies and never seen again.
Nearly 1,200 tribal members were arrested for this short-lived victory, which began a reign of terror on the reservation that included 61 unsolved murders, nearly 350 assaults by gunshots, stabbings, beatings, arson and cars being run off the road, as well as 562 arrests (only 15 resulted in a conviction). The “diversions” enabled the government to illegally remove rich molybdenum and uranium deposits from the nearby Gunnery Range.
Despite centuries of injustice, today’s indigenous people are the most outspoken and courageous leaders of numerous grassroots movements, such as Idle No More, which advocates for protection of the land and water. The Indigenous tribes of America are gathering together to protect not only their native land and the water, but Earth itself.
The fearlessness of the Dakota Access pipeline protestors will hopefully inspire more people to realize that we must stand together to protect this precious planet.
Author Shaman Elizabeth Herrera, is a shamanic healer, poet, activist and author who writes life-changing books. Her stories encourage people to stretch outside their comfort zones and reexamine their own beliefs. She is also the author of Shaman Stone Soup, and Dreams of Dying.
Author website: http://www.ShamanElizabethHerrera.com