top of page

Music is our Medicine - The Seventh Generation Medicine Concert at Standing Rock

The Seventh Generation Medicine Concert was inspired by my sister and fellow soldier of love ~ Lyla June Johnston. Through her invitation, I had the opportunity to offer support to the water protectors of Standing Rock by assisting to produce a prayer offering of music, song and spoken word to honor of the courageous International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) of Standing Rock, ND on November 23, 2016.

The IIYC is the youth division of Oceti Sakowin, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which seeks to protect the land, water and treaty rights of indigenous peoples; end environmental racism; empower youth in tradition; and rise as leaders in Indian Country Currently, the IIYC and Oceti Sakowin are working to stop the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline project, a crude oil pipeline that would transport oil from North Dakota to pipelines in Illinois.

Among the IIYC youth hosting the Seventh Generation Medicine Concert are prayerful warriors including Thomas Lopez (Son of Teocalli Native American Church Leader & Sundance Chief Sr. Thomas Lopez of the Lakota Tribe) & Jasilyn Charger (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Youth, Oceti Sakowin Relay Runner). These young water protectors have been standing strong at Standing Rock for many months and have been working hard on the front lines and within their respective communities to protect land, water, and treaty rights, to end environmental racism, empower youth in tradition, and to rise as leaders in Indian Country. We honor IIYC for starting and continuing to lead a worldwide movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect our sacred waters for seven generations to come. We honor their message of peace & unity and call on all supporters of this movement to spread this message far & wide.

The Seventh Generation Medicine Concert featured musical offerings from Climbing PoeTree, Rising Appalachia Music, Saritah and Desirae Harp of Audiopharmacy. Coming from the four directions, these phenomenal women humbly offer their medicine with the prayer that it brings peace, unity, inspiration and hope. Each of these artists have been intentionally preparing themselves to channel love, healing, and resilience through this time of beauty & struggle. We have a deep understanding that our liberation is bound up with that of the youth and the people of Standing Rock.

Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman of Climbing Poetree. Photo by Jo "love/speak" Cruz

Saritah and Jo "love/speak" Cruz

Rising Appalachia Photo: Jo "love/speak" Cruz

I would also like to take a moment to thank the following people who are crucial in supporting the Seventh Generation Medicine Concert in Standing Rock. Deep bows of gratitude to to Standing Rock Sioux Nation tribal members Phyllis Young and LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, and the elders in charge of the Main Fire at Oceti Sakowin for your blessings, support, and the space to share our offerings of love & music to the people. Much respect to Wiyaka Eagleman who has been living in Standing Rock since Day 1, tending to the fire at Sacred Stone Camp, and offering his help in any way to our team. Thankful for my sisters Sylvie Karina, Tiśina T. Parker and Nikila Baduawho's logistical offerings have helped to make this experience so blessed & successful. Shots out to Nightlife Music in Bismark for their support and flexibility! And so much love to my personal group of family & friends who have helped me make the journey to Standing Rock, I am grateful for your support and held you close with every prayer made along the way ~ Teao Sense, Aida Cruz, Eddie Servando, Jason Lewis, Leny Strobel, Aaron Lehmer-Chang, Leila Ertel, Rita Boutit, Michelle Archuleta, Pasha Brown, Ras K'dee, Deezbaa Andrea Marie, Maowunyo de Asis, Lily Naaz Rahnema, Miguel Escobedo, Erick Santeroand Charlotte Glennie.

The battle to protect the waters is not over my friends. Please stay aware, informed and do whatever you can to support the people of Standing Rock and to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. There is more work to do...

Women of all nations coming together to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Photo taken at Rosebud Camp. From left to right, unnamed sister, Jo "love/speak" Cruz, Tisina Parker, Saritah, Hillary Hacker, and Nikila Badua.


‘We stand strong’: Standing Rock water protectors defy Army Corps’ threat of camp eviction 11/25

Standing Rock Press Conference - 11/26/2016

Army Corps Clarifies Eviction Notice to Standing Rock - 11/28/16 "The Army Corps said they have no plans to forcibly remove anyone, though those who stay, the agency said, do so at the risk of being ticketed or arrested".

NO DAPL! MNI WICONI~ Water is Life!

Written by Jo "love/speak" Cruz, love/speak productions



bottom of page