What does Direct Action have to do with Military Recruitment, Sacred Sites, and Resource Extraction? The IP3 (Indigenous Peoples Power Project) is building answers…
October 27-30, 2005. The Lakota Action Network, Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way), American Friends Service Committee and the Mennonite Central Committee hosted The Ruckus Society to present the Black Hills Action Camp. The gathering took place in the Sacred Black Hills, South Dakota, which is the spiritual heart of the Lakota people. Participants from the Lakota Nation and guests from many Indigenous Nations who are fighting for Environmental Justice all over Turtle Island came together to train in Direct Action Strategy and Tactics in order to strengthen their capacity and WIN the protection and longevity of Indigenous people and their Nations.
The Black Hills Action Camp brought together Youth and Elder Leadership from various eras and regions. This multigenerational/multiregional perspective assembled a wealth of powerful history and energy of the Native Environmental Justice movement over 3 generations (can�t forget the little ones present). Participants from Indigenous/First Nations communities throughout the U.S. and Canada came together and trained in Campaign Strategy and Development, Counter Military Recruitment, Direct Action, Direct Action Strategy and Planning, and Action Media. These tools and tactics were applied to issues that participants face as Indigenous people such as the constant environmental threat that resource extraction presents, defending Sacred Sites from desecration development, and the recruitment of native youth by the armed forces.
One of the great ironies discussed at this gathering was the genocidal history of the United States and its treatment of its Indigenous peoples and the amount of Native youth that volunteer to serve in its armed forces. Native Americans have the highest percent per-capita of any ethnic group to serve in the U.S. Military and DIE in the armed conflict throughout history. Ruckus trainers were joined by leaders in the Counter Recruitment movement from United For Peace and Justice and The American Friends Service Committee, as well as Lakota Veterans from Pine Ridge to approach Counter Recruitment from an Indigenous perspective and remove Native bodies from the U.S. war machine. Strategies for Organizing and Action were given breath and took shape.
The Black Hills Action Camp charged participants with strategy, tools, tactics, and the power that grows whenever Indigenous people and allies stand together to train and take action. The Ruckus Society looks forward to future collaborations with all our partners who brought this gathering together and all the participants that made this training powerful.