Duncan Meisel Duncan Meisel, April 21, 2014


President Obama has delayed his decision on Keystone XL — but we can’t wait for action, and Reject and Protect will still be happening in full force over the next few days.

Keystone XL poses a grave risk to our land, water and climate, and breaks long held treaties, and President Obama still has an opportunity to do the right thing and reject the pipeline.

But he won’t take it unless we commit ourselves to principled action and push him to step up. That’s what next week is about. The whole schedule is here (and includes more information and important updates), but I want to talk in particular about the event on Saturday April 26th, starting at 11 AM — the tipi gifting ceremony. Here’s the plan:

Starting at 9:30 AM, a tipi liner will be laid out at the camp for everyone to add their thumbprints, with music starting at 10 AM. Our message to the President is that he should leave his mark on history, and so we are leaving our own marks on the tipi, which we hope will become a part of the historical record.

At 11 AM, we will gather at the camp’s stage to begin the event. We will have speakers from the Cowboy Indian Alliance, First Nations in Alberta Canada, and other folks on the front lines of this project, as well as speakers who will explain the symbolism of the tipi and our gift.

At around 12 Noon, we will offer a final prayer, and then begin our march together to deliver the tipi.

Because the White House does not accept gifts and President Obama will be in Asia on the 26th, and because the tipi is a spiritual object of historical importance, we will be gifting it in his name it to the Museum of the American Indian. We’ll walk together to the museum, and the tipi will be accepted by curators and kept for the historical record.

President Obama may not be personally getting the tipi that day, but he will be getting the message: We’ve already confirmed a number of key reporters and TV crews, and we’ll be mobilizing the entire networked movement on that day via email and social media so that your voice is amplified loud enough to be heard even in the White House.

We will walk behind 5 riders on horseback, who will be followed by tipi carriers representing all the diverse voices in this movement. By 1:45, we’ll be back at the encampment, where we will close with a performance by Frank Waln, a hip hop artist from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Apologies for the long note, but I wanted to make sure everyone had all the information for the 26th to make this event powerful and effective — which I’m sure it will be.