Moccasins on the Ground

The Moccasins on the ground training developed by Owe Aku's Sacred Water Protection Project focuses focuses on skills, tactics, and techniques of nonviolent direct action in three day training camps.  The skills that are discussed include such things as blockading heavy equipment,  workshops on strategic media, street medic training, knowing your legal rights with respect to  civil disobedience, building solidarity and alliances, applicable international human rights and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Lakota sacred teachings on water, and many other topics under the umbrella of direct action. 

In February, the State Deparment released it's assessment giving a green light to President Obama who has the ultimate say in the permit process.  “As the process of public comment, hearings, and other aspects of an international application continue, each door is closing to protecting sacred water and our Human Right to Water. Soon the only door left open will be the door to direct action. An organized, prepared community is our best protection if President Obama chooses to issue the KXL permit. Of course, we are hopeful that he will truly be revolutionary in the green sense, and say no to the permit, and lead the world in moving away from destruction and toward a sustainable energy future.  But we cannot sit and wait for his decision, we must act now and be ready to protect our sacred water, our lands, our families, so we take the Moccasins on the Ground Tour of Resistance to Lakota communities that invite us to provide the training. We have been to several Lakota communities and more trainings are scheduled . . . We will provide training until the decision is made by President Obama,” said White Plume.

First Nations people from Canada and other Red Nations also attend to share their experience of impacts from the tarsands oil fields on their traditional territories, waters and the wildlife they depend on for subsistence hunting and gathering; as well as discussions on how tarsands and oil pipelines have resulted in their people becoming displaced and ill from the mining and pipeline impacts.

“It is my job to educate our people on their rights, and how to protect their rights, this KXL pipeline may be the biggest issue of our lifetimes,” said Robin LeBeaux, Tribal Council Representative from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.  

Trainers and presenters include White Plume of Owe Aku, Tantoo Cardinal of Ft McMurray, Canada, Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth, Kandi Mosset of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Nina Waste of Idle No More, Manitoba, Canada, Bruce Ellison of the National Lawyers Guild, Alex White Plume the NaCha (traditional leader) of the Oyunkpay Tiyospaye under the traditional form of governance of the Lakota Oyate , Faith Spotted Eagle of Treaty to Protect the Sacred, Vic Camp and Jo Red Sky of the Warriors Alliance, and more.  Trainers also include activists from the Great Plains Tarsands Resistance, Texas Blockade, People’s Media Project of Chicago, Protect the Sacred of Ihanktowan Dakota Nation, Christian Peace Maker Team, Lakota Media Project, Deep Green Resistance and many other organizations and individuals.

“Delegations come from the four directions to participate in this training, all people who want to learn are welcome,” says Vic Camp, organizer for Owe Aku. 

To be kept informed on Moccasins on the Ground and the other activities of Owe Aku to protect sacred water, please fill out the form in the left margin on the home page of this website.  

Link to our Cause Page - Read about our recent work with Moccasins on the Ground


We just completed a Moccasins of the Ground Frontline Activist Training here on the Pine Ridge Homeland in collective action with Great Plains Tarsands Resistance and Tarsands Blockade. More than 300 people participated in the 3 day training experience. We had a Water Ceremony conducted by our elders and an Icicuse Ceremony (Making of the Vow) with our Whip Bearer of the Tokala Warrior Soceity. It was very powerful. We are ready to move on in our Tour and need your support as soon as possible.  DEBRA WHITE PLUME

© John Kent Lebsock 2016