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2011 Ride

Riding with Horsewomen

Day 2: With less than 48 hours notice, Rose Main had somehow managed to organize a solidarity horse ride against Keystone XL at the Fort Belknap tribal sanctuary, homeland to the Gros Ventre and the Assiniboine Tribes. Robe Walking and Ken Main met us in the morning to escort us from the motel. After picking up Ruth Marshall and her and Robe’s 10 month-old son Nihon (Yellowbird), we towed the trike to Hays, where Rose Main, Roberta Werk and Gertrude Werk were patiently waiting for us on horseback.

There George Horse Capture, Jr. said a prayer and blessed the ride, before we set off down the road four abreast (three horses and one rocket trike), with Officer Stan Johnson helpfully trailing us with a police escort, and Tim Dave Haakenson driving ahead to document the procession. After a mile or so, we were joined by two curious dogs, who seemed to want to get in on the fun and ended up running with us the rest of the way. Riding in the company of such powerful women and their horses in their ancestral sanctuary was an indescribable experience. I’ll just say it was a deep personal honor and experience I will never forget. Judging by the number of cars slowing down to take pictures, I doubt anyone else who saw it will soon forget it either.

Later we dropped in on station manager Gerald Stiffarm at tribal radio station KGVA 88.1, were I did a brief interview with Christa Rabbit to talk about the dangers of Keystone XL, fracking and gold mine leaching on tribal lands. Then I conducted my own interview with Davey Belgard, Robe, Ken and Ruth, which you will not want to miss and can see on YouTube.

Before leaving, we visited the Fort Belknap Tribal Council, where Phyllis Culbertson and Patty Quizno came out for a look at the trike and some conversation. Look for my interview with Phyllis on YouTube.

After towing the trike back to Malta, we ended a very powerful Day 2 of the ride by breaking bread together.

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