Uncle Joe and the Water Protectors
Team Member: Victoria Shelter
Hannah Blanchard Obolsky wrote -
Meet Our Uncle Joe.
My twin brother Ben and I have been blessed with his love and presence in our lives since we were two-years-old. Father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle and friend to many, Uncle Joe’s tiyospaye crosses over borderlines and blood ties. A Vietnam veteran and jack-of-all trades, Uncle Joe is the man our dad says you want around when the going gets rough and something impossible needs to get done! To us, he is just the perfect lekshíla – our beloved uncle who teaches us to laugh at ourselves, feel braver than we are and inspires us to be our best.
Whatever he is doing, Uncle Joe always gives 110% -- and he asks nothing and takes little in return. He is literally the kind of guy who will give you the shirt off his back… which is why we want to have his back in this fight for his homeland.
Uncle Joe and his tiyospaye are in Standing Rock, ND with thousands of Indigenous People and others from around the world. For months these Water Protectors have been fighting the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) that trespasses over sacred ancestral lands and threatens the pristine headwaters of the Missouri River, a major water supply for themselves as well as millions of Americans down river.
Every day Uncle Joe is up at dawn, doing whatever it takes to keep the camp going and lending a hand to others in need. While donations of food, clothes and other goods have been coming in, it is often that the task or help needed requires cash in hand. And true to his generous character, Uncle Joe has been quietly paying for a lot of these "little things" out of his retirement check. Although Uncle Joe would NEVER ask for help, we know he needs all the financial support we can muster on his and other Water Protectors behalf!
Ben and I invite you to please join us in supporting Uncle Joe and the Water Protectors of the Oglala Oyate Camp at Standing Rock. Your donations will help pay for firewood, stove and heater parts, fresh produce, gas, mechanical repairs and the many other hidden costs of day to day life, especially as they prepare for the very cold North Dakota winter. No donation is too small, and all are accepted with much love & gratitude.
In Solidarity with Standing Rock, Hannah & Ben, 16 years old, Denver, CO