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The Ponca tribe of Oklahoma is proud to host the first of four Convenings of the 4 Winds: Listening to the Waters Speak on their territory, September 21-22, 2022, during the Autumnal Equinox. During the two-day convening, the Ponca open their arms with the aim to bring together 200-300 local and regional tribal communities, national Indigenous Rights of Nature advocates, and other climate justice leaders with expertise in Land Back, Indigenous Just Transition strategies, non-violent direct-action trainings, and other areas. These events will focus on protecting the Rights of Rivers.

“The rivers connect us all,” says Casey Camp Horinek, Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca nation. “We’re calling all water protectors in Oklahoma, upstream to Nebraska and downstream to come together in ceremony and action — to learn from each other and listen to what the rivers have to teach us.” Participants are encouraged to bring a small water offering from home during the water ceremony.

Registration is required to attend but the events are free. Along with several partnering organizations, MovementRights is offering limited scholarships for Indigenous people in the region that want to attend but need financial assistance to support the cost of gas, lodging and food. The Ponca Tribe has made available their camping area next to the powwow grounds at no cost. A community meal will also be provided each day.

The Ponca Business Council, vowing to protect Ní’skà, (the Arkansas River) and Ni’ží’dè, (the Salt Fork River) passed the rivers into law in July 2022. But these waters, like so many on Turtle Island are threatened by a variety of activities. No Ponca family is untouched by fossil fuel industry-related illnesses and deaths." Ponca Chairman Oliver Littlecook says, “Politicians and Big Oil call it ‘economic progress’. The Ponca call it ‘environmental genocide’. We can do better for our communities without sacrificing the water.”

Over the next two years organizations including Indigenous-led Movement Rights and the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty signatories plan to support other tribes connected to these Rivers to host similar events and share strategies like the Rights of Rivers. “The hope is that on the Spring Equinox in March 2023, the next Convening of the 4 Winds will be hosted by another tribe,” says Movement Rights co-founder Shannon Biggs. “We’re ready to help continue what the Ponca Tribe is beginning with this gathering and support an ongoing effort toward intertribal river protection.”

WHAT: 

The first of four Convenings of the 4 Winds

WHO: 

The Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Movement Rights, and partners

WHEN: 

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September 21-22, 2022, the Fall Equinox

WHERE: 

September 21st, Celebration of Water at the Ponca Powwow grounds 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

September 22nd, Protecting Water: Day of action, Dan Moran Park Followed by White Eagle Cultural Center, 10 a.m.–4 pm.

FULL SCHEDULE CAN BE FOUND HERE

WHY: 

To bring together communities along the rivers that connect us and begin an intertribal effort to protect the waters through ceremony and action.

For more information visit movementrights.org or contact shannon@movementrights.org

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