[UPDATE : Since writing this post, I came across this documentary. I wanted to go ahead and share it here, followed by two playlists covering the 2016-17 Standing Rock events:
I attended my first and only Rainbow gathering (at this point) in Montana in 2013 and since then have thought of coming back last year and this year in order to start a decolonize rainbow camp to work within Rainbow with other settlers and original peoples on fighting colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy and the destruction of the planet and indigenous peoples but have not ended up being motivated or capable enough to make it. Now with what has happened this year I am even more so apprehensive to identify with Rainbow family or attend gatherings than I was after my first experience.
Whatever the particulars of how the choice to set up in the Black Hills this year became a big issue, this is inevitable when the Family insists on gathering on indigenous lands without the consent of the original peoples. If there are folks on this page genuinely interested in decolonization and cultivating actual solidarity with indigenous peoples then please get in touch with me. I am potentially interesting in trying to organize a regional somewhere, some place in occupied Turtle Island (of course with the permission of the original peoples of whatever land), with the explicit intention of trying to understand and implement if possible what decolonial work looks like in the context of the Rainbow gatherings and generally the Rainbow Family of Living Light.
We really don’t have much time left to prove to the earth that we are actually on her side and not just a bunch of parasites content with partying amidst the pillage and plunder destroying her. As peoples displaced from our own ancestral lands and invaders settling on those of others without permission the first step to acting in solidarity with the earth requires acting in solidarity with original peoples here. We simply do not have the same relationship with and knowledge of these lands as do the indigenous peoples and are thus incapable of respecting the earth without their help and consent.
I recommend people sign this petition (https://www.change.org/p/rainbow-warriors-rainbow-warriors-stay-away-from-the-black-hills-of-south-dakota-u-u-w-s) and make a solid practice of always requesting permission from the indigenous peoples of a given land before declaring a gathering there from now on if they want this thing to live up to the mythology it is created for itself as “rainbow warriors.” Also if peeps wanna claim that please stop claiming it is a prophecy from indigenous peoples here and own it as a white savior created mythos.
Also, please do hit me up if you are interested in this whole Decolonize Rainbow idea or with any questions or comments or hatemail or whatever… firstname.lastname@example.org
PS- In response to the intense drug culture that is a big part of Rainbow gatherings, I offer this piece I have been working on “On the Need to Avenge My Father’s Suicide: Addiction, Education, Empire and Money” https://codylestelle.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/on-the-need-to-avenge-my-fathers-suicide-addiction-education-empire-and-money/
In response to the identity crisis of us white settlers that is just as present in Rainbow as anywhere else in white america I offer this piece I wrote in December of 2014 called “Kill Your Inner Whitey So You Can Get Free With Everyone Else…”
Some resources on decolonization that I have compiled or come across over the years include:
(especially see “Wanting to be Indian – When Spiritual Searching Turns into Cultural Theft”)
This post is in response to the following:
Midwest or New England Gathering 2015
Rainbow Gathering Incites Argument As Native American Groups Call For Eviction
An Open Letter to the Rainbow Family