Camp Mniluzahan & Creek Patrol


If you’re in need of a heart-warming and inspirational story as an antidote to the alarming current global zeitgeist, this one may help.

From ‘Camp Mniluzahan & Creek Patrol, #LandBack for our unsheltered relatives!’, campmniluzahan.org, undated (a few key bits and bobs)

“Camp Mniluzahan is established by Creek Patrol volunteers to provide care and protection for unsheltered relatives along Mniluzahan (Rapid Creek), this winter and for years to come.

Relatives and comrades who make up the Creek Patrol have come together to establish safe shelter for unsheltered relatives, since this need has not been met by the city or other organizations. Camp Mniluzahan is located on land near Mniluzahan (Rapid Creek) held for the Oceti Sakowin by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and Oglala Sioux Tribe, with the consent of those tribes.

The first Camp Mniluzahan was located along Mniluzahan (Rapid Creek) on Oceti Sakowin territory occupied by the settler city of Rapid City at LaCrosse St & Centre St. After a meal was shared between volunteers and comrades and unsheltered relatives, this camp was evacuated by force by the Rapid City settler police on Friday, Oct 16, in violation of the land rights of the Oceti Sakowin and the human right and necessity to care for our unsheltered kin.

Six Creek Patrol volunteers were arrested by the RCPD during this forced evacuation and held until well after midnight. These comrades still face charges; please consider donating to our legal fund in their defense.

We call on relatives from across Oceti Sakowin territory to join us! We need volunteers to cook, provide security, and provide first aid / medic support. We need donations of wood stoves, firewood, square straw bales, yurts, port-a-potties, first aid supplies, and tiny homes. Material donations can be dropped off at Hippie Haven, 806 St Joseph St, 10am-6pm Mon-Sat. There is a supplies wish list; items can be shipped to Camp Mniluzahan c/o Hippie Haven, 806 St Joseph St, Rapid City, SD, 57701. Contact donations@campmniluzahan.org for more info on material donations.

If you aren’t able to volunteer or contribute supplies, consider supporting with funds.”

‘HeSapa: Home of the Lakota’, October 22, 2020, lakotatimes.com (no copyright)

“Lakota people have always considered the HeSapa and surrounding area our home. Our people were guaranteed access to HeSapa by the treaties our ancestors signed with the federal government. However, when gold was discovered, the federal government passed the Act of 1877 – which was the illegal confiscation of our treaty land, now known as the Black Hills. tinyurl.com/y2ct4c49

My late Unci was born in 1917. As a child, she attended the Rapid City Indian boarding school. She often spoke of the families who would camp along Rapid Creek, waiting for the school year to end so they could be with their children again.

This camp was called Osh Kosh Camp. Some people called it the Indian Camp and today the area is known as Founders Park. The camp consisted of not only family members waiting for their school children, but also included Lakota people who relocated to Rapid City looking for work.” […]

“Many Lakota relatives still live in Rapid City. In fact, many are without a house of their own and still camp along Rapid Creek. Last week, the Mniluzahan Creek Patrol set up the tipis near the fairgrounds as a solution to shelter relatives during the cold weather.

However, the city government and police department continue to work hard to keep Lakota people from camping along Rapid Creek. Police make regular sweeps along Rapid Creek, confiscating blankets, tents and other belongings of the Lakota people sleeping there. The city has also placed large boulders under bridges along Rapid Creek to stop relatives from seeking shelter.” […]

“The tipis were erected along Rapid Creek within city limits. Of course, the police threw a fit and ordered the tipis removed. Several live streams were shared on social media from the site.

Consequently, a group of Lakota people who were singing ceremony songs in a tipi were arrested and taken to Pennington County Jail. A Lakota woman, who was seen being dragged out of the tipi by police, is reportedly facing about 30 criminal charges. The live streams showed a majority of the police force (along with a team dressed in riot gear hiding in a dark area), an ambulance and fire truck on the scene to make sure our people left the area.

The city government, led by former police chief Steve Allender, claims they have proposed solutions to get people off the street. Homeless shelters, detox and treatment centers are some of their proposed solutions. Yet, some of our relatives would rather camp along the creek.

This incident is another example of government paternalism. That is, when our Lakota leadership comes up with a quick solution to deal with an issue at hand, it’s never good enough for most wasicu – including the mayor and his cops. It’s the same old story – wasicu solutions are better than ours, even though the people who chose to stay along the creek are our relatives. Every level of wasicu government has consistently tried to force their policy down our throats. The wasicu still believe their way is better than our way. They work hard to take our freedom of choice away.” […]

Also, we are affected by intergenerational trauma passed down from our ancestors. It’s up to each one of us to heal the painful cellular memory we are born with. We carry the trauma of our ancestors whom the wasicu tried to exterminate.

Consequently, the wasicu have their own form of historical or intergenerational trauma. The policy of their ancestors was to kill us all. Yet, we are still here.

The plan to kill off our ancestors failed miserably, so many wasicu work hard to ensure we never get ahead – especially in Rapid City, SD. The wasicu shame and guilt they hold in their cellular memory is their historical trauma. The wasicu who haven’t worked on healing their historical trauma feel canzeka when they see a Lakota relative camped along Rapid Creek.

Just think, if the city officials would give even a few acres of LandBack along Rapid Creek, unhoused Lakota relatives could build tiny houses or live in tipis like our ancestors did.” […]

Prayers for all Indigenous people suffering the corrupt systems put in place by the wasicu.”


‘It’s a sovereign place’,
indiancountrytoday.com, undated, (wasicu) Stewart Huntington, special to Indian Country

““It’s a sovereign place. You just come up there, and they show you things and teach you things. How to put up a teepee (sic). How to survive in the land we were born in,” said Steve Long Sr., an Oglala Lakota citizen who found himself homeless in Rapid City and took refuge at the new camp. “You’re not in the city no more. You’re out here in our hills. These are ours. This land belongs to us.” […]

““(Lloyd) helped me get my priorities straight and made me realize that my responsibility as a human was to help other people,” said Bettelyoun. Added Big Crow: “It’s a community effort. We want to help our people become who they can be and maybe get sober. Give them some love and a hug.” […]

““We’re bringing our people together like the old days,” Big Crow said.

Camp resident Long agreed. “We’re trying to have these urban Indians become Indians again,” he said.” […]

Camp Mniluzahan has only one rule: respect. Respect for yourself, for others, for the ancestors and future generations.

It’s paying off, he says, with a growing number of camp residents who are staying sober. “Some of the relatives stay up here and do the cooking, split wood,” he said.

“They’re not getting paid for it. They’re doing it because they’re taking pride in what we set up for them.”

The camp also has a sweat lodge so residents seeking to get off drugs and alcohol can take part and “find that spirituality that maybe they lost or maybe they forgot.”

Huntington also features some photos from inside the new camp.  Mr. wd had advised me of a piece at the Guardian this morning noting the hellacious rate of Covid-19 positives in South Dakota, and Gov. Kristi Noem telling a recent story of Donald Trump telling her that he hopes to be the fifth face on Mount Rushmore.  She’d apparently laughed, looked up at him…and said he was serious.  This is for him, and other colonizers:

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

One response to “Camp Mniluzahan & Creek Patrol

  1. mr. wd thought that this buddy redbow song would be a good addition to the first americans on mt. rushmore theme. and he’s right!

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