It’s October, and I’m always on the verge of tears.

I went and returned home from Thief River falls Minnesota, where I did root my feet into a sinking river.

One night, we gathered in a ditch, and we listened to the words of a young person who had been incorrectly accused of something at camp. There was a lot to be said, but in a moment they lifted spirits and brought us together. They told us praying with your hands is the weakest form of prayer, praying with your voice is a step up, but praying with your feet is the strongest prayer there is.

Earlier that night, we had set up a tipi and as we lifted the heavy birch branches and walked them to the structure, we lost balance and then regained it. I let out a giggle in relief, and was quickly corrected: “Focus. Focus on each other, it’s a prayer. It’s a prayer for the water.” We were praying with our feet.

Days later I sat in a room with 5 others. The air was heavy and I watched them vow to pray with their feet.

I’m trying to come to terms with feelings of guilt (for not doing everything I could), fear, and discouragement knowing that oil has begun to fill the Line.

I’d like to learn to pray with my feet.

Photo taken from Red Lake Treaty Camp. Flag screenprint design by Issac Murdoch.