Sovereign Sisters Gathering in Black Hills

Since Standing Rock there has been much international networking of indigenous women & allies, and many of these women are gathering at the invitation of Cheryl Angel in her tribal homeland of Hesapa – The Black Hills of South Dakota. Other medicine women & wisdom keepers will be coming from Mexico, Brazil, Italy and other parts of North & South America and Europe.

Everyone should know peace. There is so much trauma inflicted upon people and the earth. We must show our children & communities what peace looks like within ourselves and in our lives.

More specific daily information will be posted soon, but ceremony will be held for and at 4 sacred sites, where you will hear stories, learn history, and pray:
Pe’sla – to wipe the tears of individuals & families
Wind Care – to celebrate the creation of life
Bear Butte – to acknowledge all medicine people & pipe carriers
Black Elk Peak – to honor the sacred energies of the earth, especially wakinya (thunder)

Borderlands Ranch is a beautiful, special, welcoming space very near Pe’sla. There are some lodges for housing & plenty of camping space (we will let you know the camping fee). There will be a moon lodge ceremony, a sharing of meal preparation, and time & space to do what we feel is needed & wanted. The week is ours to create and build together.

There is no charge for the event, but donations will be needed to cover the many costs involved. Soon we will add more information regarding camping, what to bring & other logistics. For ceremony, please bring ceremonial dress, lodge dresses, medicine, sage, sweet grass, tobacco, etc.

For inquiries you may call or text Fran Tatu at 512.626.7978.

* steps to building community around sovereign economies
* using our dollars to remove ourselves from systems harming the ecology
* practical steps to get off the grid
* decolonizing within our circles & communities
* learning indigenous ways to honor the earth & water
* making traditional food & beverages from scratch, including ancient ways of grinding rock corn and preparing
* how to be together in love & purpose & strength

Please note, men are invited to support the women.

Realize there is not much time to make plans and head to Hesapa, but hope you can make it happen if you know you are meant to be there.

Cheryl heads to Mexico!

Cheryl Angel has been invited to Mexico for the 15th Vision Council “The Call of the Water” (El Llamado Del Agua en Español) later this month in the middle of the lowland jungle that surrounds the Bacalar Lagoon in Quintana Roo.

What: Llamado Del Agua
When: November 26 – December 3
Where: Quintana Roo, Mexico

The event is focused on generating personal, social and environmental change, and promoting the exchange of resources and knowledge among the participants. The intention is to achieve a reconnection with nature and to learn about integral health, ancestral traditions and environmental and social restoration, using models such as eco-villages, permaculture and organic farming.

To help support this international trip for Cheryl and her co-presenter Lyla June Johnson, please visit the dedicated GoFundMe page.

To learn more about the event or to register, visit the English version or the Spanish version information pages on their website.

November appearance: People vs. Oil & Gas Infrastructure

Cheryl will soon be appearing at the #PeoplevsOilGasSummit in Pittsburgh. This Summit for Communities is one of the largest gatherings to date of groups fighting new fossil fuel infrastructure.

What: People vs. Oil & Gas Infrastructure
When: November 17-20, 2017
Where: Omni William Penn, 530 William Penn Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

For more information or to register, visit the event website.

Hemispheric Institute’s GSI – October 5

Cheryl will be speaking in October at Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies, sponsored by the Hemispheric Institute. This event is an invitation to respond critically, aesthetically, and kinetically to the idea of “meeting grounds”—inflected, as it is, with histories of settlement, displacement, and resettlement throughout the Americas.

Inspired by the Hemispheric Institute’s work developed throughout the Americas, the Hemi Graduate Student Initiative (Hemi GSI) aims to bring together dedicated people who are interested in working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression and politics. We work to promote embodied practices as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory and identity. Join us as we gather and blur our lines as teachers, students, artists and activists.

Session: From ‘Discovery’ to Dakota Access: A Critical Duet on Indigenous Acts of Activism and Resurgence in the Americas

Thursday, October 5th
Daniels Spectrum, Ada Slaight Hall
York University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For more information on the conference, visit the website.


Black Hills Unity Concert

Cheryl will be hosting workshops on treaty rights, art therapy, and a 24-hour prayer vigil for incarcerated Water Protectors at the Black Hills Unity Concert.

When: September 8th – 10th
Where: Elk Creek Resort, 8220 Elk Creek Rd, Piedmont, South Dakota 57769

Please join look for our Mni Wiconi flag flying above our main tipi. Join us for information, inspiration and reunion.

The Black Hills Unity Concert is a free event dedicated to honoring the elders, protecting the earth, and uniting the people.


Reconnecting with horse nation

In September of 2015, a friend and I traveled from Nebraska, where we had attended a hearing to stop a uranium mining permit, to South Dakota for the Black Hills Unity Concert. We arrived very late at night and slept in our car. I woke up the next morning to the sound of horses. I jumped up out of the car and said, “There are horses here! Can you hear them?”

We started off straightaway to look for the horses and eventually found them. I walked into the pen to get closer to them and, after visiting a bit, I began petting them. As we walked back to the gate, I told her the story about having a horse as a babysitter when I was a baby. As I finished the story, the two horses that I had been petting walked up behind me and started nuzzling me, up and down each side of my body. I raised my arms and they continued nuzzling me all over with their heads. I was transported back to that time as a baby and the sense of security I got from the warm breath and velvety nuzzling of my horse babysitter.

My friend was amazed. We both got goosebumps.

The horse trainer, who had watched this encounter, walked up and said, “You need to meet the owner of these horses.” So he took me to meet her. Within minutes she had gifted me two horses.

The horses at the Unity Concert had been taken there to hold spiritual space and to administer healing for the people. I think they felt me when I told the babysitter story to my friend. They felt my connection to them. Maybe they could feel I was once loved and cared for by a horse, and they caressed me to remind me that I am loved and not forgotten by the horse nation.

The horses I met that day were very special. Despite the colonized version of horse history in American found in the history books, archaeologists, zoologists, and scholars now understand and accept that the horse originated in the Americas and later spread from the Americas into Europe and Asia. With this unexpected gift I joined a small but dedicated group of Native and Non-Native preservationists who are stewards of the Indigenous Horse of the Americas.

Later the owner and I met again and she increased the gift to an entire herd of horses. These horses are never sold, they are only gifted to people whom the horses have chosen—that’s the mandate of her horse program.

Many months later I traveled to Sacred Way Sanctuary to pick my herd. I am blessed to be able to return the care afforded to me by my granny’s old horse to the horses I have now. I’ve come full circle—I now take care of a family of horses that sustain me, help me grow, and heal and nurture me.

I believe that meeting the horses at the Black Hills Unity Concert was a divine calling to be reunited with the horse nation.

If you’d like to support Cheryl’s work and her preservation of a small herd of indigenous horses, please click here to donate.

My first babysitter

My close connection to horses started when I was just a baby. My mom had serious heart disease and wasn’t able to care for me, so my dad took me to his childhood home to be cared for by his mother. She lived way out in the grasslands of South Dakota, on a plateau overlooking the badlands.

I didn’t see my mother again until much later. She moved to Omaha, Nebraska for treatment and survived one of the first open heart surgeries in America. In the end, miraculously, her heart lasted longer than her body did.

At my grandmother’s house, I grew up in a crib pushed next to an open window. The view of the grasslands outside my window became my worldview. My first memories were of hot breath on my face, velvety caresses, and a bell. My grandmother had hung a bell outside the cabin, run a cord from the bell through the window, and tied it to my ankle. When I kicked and kicked, the bell would ring and my nearly deaf granny would hear it and come take care of me. I learned to pull on the cord to ring the bell. Sadly, granny passed away while I was still young, before I could thank her for loving me and caring for me during her last days. I imagine she had many burdens because she was so old, but I like to think I made her smile.

I survived that way for my first two winters. After my granny passed, I had a new babysitter—a horse. It was his hot breath and velvety nose and mouth that I remember. His loving presence sustained me while my dad worked many long hours in the fields. I would ring the bell and the horse would gallop to the open window to look in on me. If I was inconsolable and he could not comfort me, he would race off looking for my father. Whenever my dad saw the horse running to him, he knew I needed him at home.

Soon my mom had fully recovered from her surgery and I was returned to her. My dad had a new wife, so I never saw that horse again. But I will never forget him. As I grow older, I appreciate more and more the care I was given by those two elders in their last days—my granny and her old horse, my first babysitter.

If you’d like to support Cheryl’s work and her preservation of a small herd of indigenous horses, please click here to donate. 

[Personal Photo: Cheryl Angel works closely with Horse Nation and is now passing on this love to the next generation of her family.]

Standing Rock women’s silent prayer to march to Backwater Bridge

On Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 Cheryl Angel and other Native water protectors led the women (and many men) of Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin camps in a silent march to Backwater Bridge, the site of the previous week’s atrocities, which made national headlines.

On November 20, more than 160 people were injured, some seriously, when private military forces hired by the pipeline company in conjunction with local law enforcement deployed chemical weapons and high pressured water hoses on men, women, children, and elders in below freezing temperatures.

Sunday the 27th was a day of healing.

We are unarmed water protectors. We ask all activists to become Spiritual and all Spiritual people to become Active. In this unity, we will stand in powerful prayer to protect the water.

Arriving at the bridge in silence they held a short ceremony and prayer.


Please support Cheryl’s work leading prayer at non-profit events around the country.

[Photo Credit: Dave Banks, Dave Banks Media]
[Video Credit: Beth Pielert, Good Film Works™]