The theme for this month’s camp session (January 2017) was astronomy and understanding the lessons of the night’s sky. The elders have passed down many stories that explain what we see in the sky. We were privileged to have Mr. Jim Rock from the UMD planetarium come to speak to the student, bringing with him his portable planetarium; which he used to teach the students the lessons from the stars in the sky. These lessons have been interpreted in slightly different versions, depending on the area, tribe, or culture that you grew up in. There was an overall theme though that continued throughout all the stories. The stars and constellation tell a story of our past, and are there for us to learn from, and to learn the lessons needed to protect Mother Earth for the generations to come.
To carry forth the lessons of protecting Mother Earth, on Saturday we were honored with guest speakers that came to tell us about their first hand experiences from Standing Rock, in the Dakotas. They spoke of the struggles that our people have had to endure to protect Mother Earth. The fight they are facing at Standing Rock is not an isolated event, effecting just a few people of one tribe. This is a fight that has brought many nations together to stand as a unified front, determined to do what is right and protect all the people of Mother Earth. Due to the harm from climate change, the conditions of Mother Earth are forever changing now. There is hope among the people that this united front will continue after Standing Rock and we will be able to protect our world before it is too late, for all of our future generations.