By Cynthia Pryor*
The Ceremonial Walk of the Drum is completed and it is Done.
More than 50 people arrived on a blistering hot day of 90s (July 17, 2011) to make the Trek around the Eagle Mine site three times -- 12 hot, dusty, trudgy miles.
Drummers drummed for six hours as people made their way around the mine site. Drummed and were tormented by flies of all kinds and drummed on without stopping.
About seven of those people made it physically around three times and many, many more contributed to the three times around with their efforts! A special nod to the indomitable Laura Gauger, who was the only woman to physically walk the three times around the site.
Our gratitude and humble thanks to Tom Verboczki, a native man from the Madosh family. He and his wife Michelle and their friend Gerriann traveled from Gwinn believing in the dream that prompted this walk. He, especially, believes in the power in dreams and wanted to be the man that would bring this one to fruition. His humility, spiritual strength and belief galvanized him around the site to be the first to complete the three counter-clockwise circles around the Eagle Mine. . . . and the people passed from one drum to the next and it was done.
A special heartfelt thanks to Richard Sloat, Catherine Parker, John Jungworth and Bob B., who also heard and believed. Their work in the logistics of making this dream a reality was without peer.
To all who helped with tents, drum shelters, water and other support items -- my personal thanks. To those who traveled from Wisconsin and Minnesota to support us -- WOW.
To Bob, whose dream this was, and whose belief in it made this all possible -- we all owe him our appreciation.
The point of this counter-clockwise walk, as it was explained to us by Native elders, is an un-doing, a healing and a cleansing. It was important and needed to happen. The people who came together for this effort were of all peoples -- as the dream indicated. Human beings believing that we can make a difference -- no matter the politics, cultural differences or belief systems.
As one person said -- if we go forward pure of heart and with good intentions, what we do is the best we know how to do to stop this mine. Yes.
We humbly thank all who strive, in all of the many and various ways this can be done, to stop this mine on the Yellow Dog Plains.
* Guest writer Cynthia Pryor is the Sulfide Mining Campaign Director for the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.