On Blast: Learn About LNG was an information event held at Pacific Lutheran University on Friday night. It was a collaborative effort by the PLU Diversity Center and Native Daily Network. The idea was to invite the student body, the public and to engage and energize everyone involved. As the walls of the facility go up, we are entering a crucial phase of our resistance to the facility.
Speakers came from the Puyallup Tribe (of course), Redefine Tacoma, Tacoma350, Mazaska Talks and an unplanned address from a former Mayor of Tacoma.
Drum and Ceremony
Kyle Schierbeck of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe bought the big drum. For the Lakota, the drum is prayer, it is a ceremony and the people he sits with are his family. Puyallup elder Nancy Shippentower offered a prayer to open proceedings. Then the drum enthralled the guests. Many had never witnessed this spectacle before.
It was a beautiful and sacred way to begin an important evening. In prayer and ceremony. The evening then shifted to members of the Puyallup Tribe. In some ways, the drum handed the embers of the fire that was started at Standing Rock, Kyles homeland. It recognized and respected the important role the Puyallup Tribe are playing in the fight to stop the Liquid Natural Gas facility being built at the Port of Tacoma.
Meeting a Blast
The meeting ran over a little as is often the case of such gatherings but almost everyone stayed until the very end. Many also stayed to mingle afterward and most of those stayed an extra 40 minutes to participate in a water ceremony. The water ceremony was led by Robert Satiacum of the Puyallup Tribe.
Robert was the so-called faithless elector in the 2016 general election. As a Democratic Party elector for Washington State, he was supposed to pick the candidate that won the State. Hillary Clinton. Instead, he picked Faith Spotted Eagle of South Dakota. Benita Moore partnered Rob in running the ceremony. It was a perfect end to a great evening.
Photographs provided courtesy of Pacific Lutheran University and Saiyare Refai of PLU’s Diversity Center.