I was saddened and disturbed today to learn that the Rainbow Family is planning to gather, uninvited, in the Sacred Hills of the Oglala Lakota Nation. This is an act of tremendous disrespect against people who have been fighting genocide and colonization for centuries.
Early reports are that Rainbow Family "scouts" have been showing up at sacred sites, dismissing requests to stay away, answering them with promises that the Rainbow Family will leave the land "better than they found it." These are the same words outsiders have been using for years to justify their disrespect for Oglala Sioux sovereignty.
The plans to leave the land "better than they found it" include plans to bring in non-native plants and plant them all over the Sacred Hills which are essential habitat for the plants that are at the core of the nation's traditional medicine.
All of this is happening as the Oglala Lakota are preparing to go into the season of vision quests and prepare for the Sundance.
The Rainbow Family's plans are unspeakably arrogant, ignorant, and destructive.
-- Do not take part in this gathering in any way.
-- Speak out against the Rainbow Family's disrespect for Indigenous sovereignty.
-- If you have information about the specific location of the Rainbow Family's June 17 Spring Council in South Dakota, pass it on so people from the tribe can try to talk some sense into those planning the gathering.