Sacred Ground

Ruby Wharton, Kooma and Gamilaraay

I was born to the earth for the purpose of protection and care, it is my duty to defend my homeland, it is a responsibility that all natives share and the numerous battles happening across the globe are growing in size.

Whether it be at Standing Rock, Turtle Island, the Amazon of Brazil and right here in so called “Australia”we see native men, women and children defending their homelands with pride, honour and the utmost respect for the country they stand on, something our colonial peers lack.

Standing Rock is the latest and greatest battle against a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) pipeline that will evidently destroy burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and cross the Missouri River, creating high chance of CSG contamination. As first protectors of the land, thousands of natives have battled in North Dakota since April to fight for the basic right to

water and life which is being so ignorantly denied by the colonial invaders. The plans for the pipeline will follow the Missouri River south, spreading across North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois making it one of the USA’s largest water supply and if this battle is lost then so will be the water.

Unfortunately, there have been similar battles to Standing Rock in many other parts of the world and in all cases first nations people are taking on the battle. No matter what part of this sacred earth is under threat, it is always the same mining companies behind these heinous acts against nature, and we are always left standing on the front line.

I’ve always known that white people’s ignorance is dangerous and now we are all left to pay the price, all because they refuse to hear our voice. It’s like the lack of melanin has destroyed their ability to be compassionate, feel empathy and to see clear logic and fact. Daily we see mining companies prioritised over the rights of first nation’s people time and time again and for what? For quick and fast money! Mining of any kind is so destructive and is not worth the effort and time for the little money that comes from it. Once the mining has taken the life from the earth it touched it leaves nothing but sorrow for the natives as a part of their history, their songlines and their culture is evidently gone.

This country is sacred ground and it seems like natives are the only ones aware and are the only ones who care. Natives don’t need to make a profit off the earth’s blood to fulfil our wants and needs. We cherish the country that gave us life and will look after it with our might and if that means fight then you can find me standing on the front line.

Image credit: Provided by author ‘St George sunset’ 

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