In September of 2016, my daughter Monet and I began a journey that would change everything. We both felt a powerful calling to stand beside our Native brothers and sisters to protect the water from the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock reservation. With 9 of our friends, we made our way to the Cannon Ball river with the intention of staying a few weeks, dropping off donations, cooking and doing whatever we could to share love. After 3 days on the prairie Monet and I laid in our tent listening to the drums...we both started to cry. Monet told me she didn't want to go back to Charleston with the caravan. With everything in me I agreed, in this moment we were home.
Six months later, on February 22nd, we found ourselves reluctantly packing up the camp we built, forced to leave our home, Camp Sigangu, Rose Bud Camp on the Cannon Ball River. What we experienced shaped a new vision for our future. Everything changed.
We came to Standing Rock to love, to listen, to learn, to pray, to serve, to stand side by side and be allies. We left with a much larger family. We learned so much and continue to be open to grow through the journey. We see with new eyes, we walk with new vision. We found our purpose as peace makers, as sisters, aunties and friends. Our hearts were broken wide open and we're grateful for every moment of this journey.
Our intention is to bridge the way for healing and hope for our Native relatives. We came to say, "how can we help?" We came to listen. We came to love. We came to serve the highest good. We know that peace begins with conversations, with listening first and foremost. There are so many amazing humans doing great work. We want to support their mission, their dreams and lift them up!
We know that PEACE in every step turns the endless path to JOY.
We came to Standing Rock to stop a pipeline but we found a greater mission. Those of you who stood with us from your homes, those of you who came in person for a weekend or months... know that our stand is far from over. There is much work to be done and we're blessed to have been called together in this higher purpose. Those of who are called know that when we restore the earth, we in turn restore ourselves. Heal the earth, heal ourselves.
For Monet and I, we found our frontline with Native youth and especially with Native arts and culture. When we came to SR, we were on a path to start a positive media for youth... and then we met the Native photographers, writers and film makers and we quickly saw that THIS WAS THEIR STORY and we needed to do everything we could to support Indigenous storytellers and artisans. Their voices tell stories that need to be heart. Truth. Truth is how we change the world! We have been working with relatives on Standing Rock and Pine Ridge Reservation to create spaces for Native youth to come anytime. A safe space where we can create and share meals. To lift the youth in love and support their gifts. To support healing through compassion and reconnecting to Culture through the arts. To provide the tools to heal, to follow their dreams and rise up.
We are Poes for Peace and our mission is to spread love and peace, hope and healing, through service for the highest good. The proceeds from our art and photography support this mission. We continue to learn how to walk lightly on the earth and use our energy for good! We will go where Spirit leads and live this calling of heart doing our best to embody love and shine light in the world.
It is LOVE, and only LOVE that will write a new story for us all as we walk forward TOGETHER.
In gratitude and peace,
Sarah and Monet Poe