To all of the funders and supporters of our fall caravan this past month, here is a report back!
Two of us from BMCC arrived on Monday, November 23rd, with two more joining us later on during the week. We ended up staying with Danny Blackgoat, who hosted the greater caravan with people from durango, flagstaff, santa cruz, los angeles, and denver/boulder. During our stay, we were able to help out with wood gathering, hauling, splitting and distribution to around 15 families in the area as well as assisted with the larger group to distribute human and dog food and winter clothes to families and to the Rocky Ridge school nearby. There were groups that went out to work on road repairs throughout the week as well. We had a temporary outdoor kitchen that was also set up for everyone that was there that we were able to take part in to feed the group during our stay.
Each morning, we’d wake up close to sunrise (6am) sit by the fire, warm ourselves with hot coffee/teas and start with general chores and breakfast. After our first meal, we’d all break out into different working groups and start our days. We shared two to three meals each day, depending on the circumstances.
A small group of us took part in helping a nearby elder, Fanny, butcher one of her goats, processed and cooked all parts of the animal, and in turn the meat was shared with those of us who helped out. That same day, we were able to help deep clean her house and kitchen before going off on a wood run in the afternoon. Each day, 1 – 2 people from our camp went out sheepherding for Fanny as well, leaving around 9-10am and returning near sun down.
Outside of our camp, Clan Dyken was also present staying at a different homesite and they took care of wood and resource distribution for families living closer to their camp. There were several groups also present staying at 3 different homesites, there mostly sheepherding and helping with general chores each staying for several weeks at a time.
On Friday, at the end of the week, Danny hosted a gathering, inviting Dineh Elders and families nearby, and we were able to help prepare a large meal and set up the area for the gathering. There was a circle that happened prior to the meal where Danny spoke to what work was able to be done this week, and John Catnee said a prayer just before our meal. Around fifty to sixty people were able to attend the gathering, including the 20 or so supporters present. One family shared with us their drive took several hours, and later found out that we had repaired one of their routes that had washed out, and they were able to return home in a much shorter 10-mile drive. It was very good to hear the magnitude that some of these road repairs contributed for some people, allowing for much quicker communication and travel between Dineh People living in the area. Gratitude and mutual appreciation was also shared for supporters work as well as for the resistors that have been holding it down for the past 40 years.
While our stay felt a little brief, we were able to get a lot done and continue to build relationships with everyone we encountered on this trip, and I look forward to another return trip this coming spring. Danny expressed a immense amount of gratitude throughout our stay, and shared many stories with us throughout the trip of a greater history of the land.
The spring caravan will be coming up quickly, sometime in late march/early april. If you have any interest in attending the trip or to help out with local fundraising/collecting resources for the trip please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also still have many sets of Earrings and T-Shirts available (visible in the posts below) that can be purchased ($20 per earring set, and $25 per t-shirt!) And to those of you still looking to donate to the caravan, we have a donate button located at the top of our blog page!
Also, here is a photo album put together by Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity from the trip— https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.924605124288887.1073741852.822012231214844&type=3