Friday, Nov. 4th - They have run for days through mountains, prairies, high plains, and deserts to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock, to raise awareness, to protect the water. They are almost to Standing Rock!
Three days ago they stopped to spend the night in a small town where the hotel manager told them they didn't belong, since they were in oil country he said. He advised them to stay out of sight until certain other guests left the hotel the following morning.
The runners circled as they do every evening with Spiritual Advisor Ricky Gray Grass. They prayed. They shook hands. Shortly afterward a policeman walked up to Advisor Gray Grass and told him that the business owner, the customers, the property owner - all had called the police to report that everyone in their group was "involved in suspicious activity." (They had been praying.) Therefore, the policeman told Advisor Gray Grass, it would be best for all of them to leave town. The policeman suggested they go to a town 40 miles away to spend the night.
Gray Grass advised the runners to stay in their rooms and be quiet until morning.
How could anyone treat these heroic, good-hearted young people like that? When a few of us learned of this incident, we became concerned.
The next morning we asked Advisor Gray Grass if they were safe, if they were okay. He answered simply, "Oh I prayed for the hotel manager, the cop and the business owner. We'll be okay." He had prayed - for their accusers.
And the runners were back at it going full steam down the highway that day and every day since, committed as if nothing had happened. They are warriors.
One of them is Trevor Standing Soldier, a 21-year-old Oglala Lakota. We asked why it was so important for him to do this 500-mile run to Standing Rock. He said, "It's important to me because we need water, everyone needs water. I'm doing it because we're helping this young boy from Arizona (15-year-old Riley Ortega who started the run). I'm doing it because water is life. It's so important. This is not just a native thing. It's for everybody. That's why we're doing it."