Here is an intimate photo essay and an interview with Lakota warrior Brenda White Bull in her own words:

"Han Mitakuyape. My Lakota name is Waunsila Win. It means compassionate woman. My English name is Brenda White Bull.

"I’m a US Marine Corps veteran of 20 years. I served 1989 to 2009. I’m a water protector for life." I come from Kenel, South Dakota.

My parents are the late Albert and Maxine White Bull I'm the great great granddaughter of Sitting Bull.

I am very proud and honored to be a descendant of Sitting Bull, and to carry out his legacy. And we are all Sitting Bull’s people here, and I always tell everyone who comes here that, tell people that you are from Standing Rock, because you deserve it, this is your home, this is not just our home anymore, it opens up, and that hopefully will bring them back home. And I encourage everyone to come home again and visit.

We talk about the seven generations. I believe that we are their dreams come true, so for these next seven generations that come along, I will never know my great-great-grand children, but I want to know that they will have the same fight in them as we do today. Our ancestors that fought before us never gave up, never once, because they had us in mind. They never met me before, but in a spiritual world they are here with us today and they’ve always been here with us to protect us and give us guidance and spiritual leadership."

Photos via Ayşe Gürsöz | Indigenous Rising Media

"Sitting Bull was a man who took care of his people. He cared about their safety and their life and all the children and the elderly. And he always provided for them first. Before he would give to himself, he gave to them. He always thought of them first and I think that’s leadership by example. You don’t have to have a title to be called a leader, you know we’ve got lots of young children that ran to DC… a lot of the children and the elderly have given us guidance. And I think that’s him coming through us.

Because we can’t think of ourselves. This isn’t a movement about ourselves, this is a movement about human kind, about nature. So when you are looking at me, you are looking at him. And you are looking at so much goodness, so much positivity that’s being surrounded here, and when people come here, I express to them that I want you to go home with good feelings. I tell them, tell those stories, so that they can come back. Bring your families back, and if you don’t feel good about leaving right away, stay for a while.

Pray. Everyone I know who’s come here will leave as a changed person, for the good of all mankind and it spreads and it trickles out. And that’s the beauty of all this going on that I see and I can say about Sitting Bull, and that’s what he wanted for his people, to be happy, and to be safe, and that’s what we are here to do, is to protect the people."



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