Convening of the Four Winds

Over the next 2+ years, we will be gathering in community and ceremony to protect the Rights of Rivers, coming together to reciprocate strategies and resiliency. The first of four Convenings of the 4 Winds was hosted by the Ponca Tribe on their territory on the Fall Equinox 2022. View the blog.

Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma Passing the Rights of Rivers

On Mother’s Day in 2021, the Pa’thata Women’s Society of the Ponca tribe of OK held a Water Ceremony on Ponca powwow grounds to recognize the Rights of Rivers that flow from upstream from Nebraska, through Ponca lands, and down through the state and beyond. These rivers flow through the territories of dozens of tribes. In July of 2022, the Ponca Business Council unanimously adopted the “Immutable Rights of Rivers” into tribal law, vowing to protect , Ní’skà, (the Arkansas River) and Ni’ží’dè, (the Salt Fork River) that give life to all living things. But these waters, like so many on Turtle Island are threatened. The environmental impacts of fossil fuels played a big part in the Ponca tribes’ decision to adopt laws recognizing ecosystem rights. The tribe lives in a fossil fuel epicenter of fracking, pipelines, petrochemical plants, and refineries. No Ponca family is untouched by industry-related illnesses and deaths. Ponca Chairman Oliver Littlecook says, “Politicians and Big Oil call it ‘economic progress’. The Ponca call it ‘environmental genocide’. We can do better for our communities without sacrificing the water.”

The Water Connects us All

“Water is sacred and our survival depends on our ability to place human activities within the Earth’s ability to absorb what we do. This is just another step in protecting the sacred waters which are the life sources of all things on Mother Earth…

We have so much to learn from our waters, everything upstream impacts everything downstream, we are all connected. “

Casey Camp-Horinek
Ponca elder who serves as the Tribe’s Environmental Am who presented the Rights of Rivers as well as the Rights of Nature laws to the Ponca Business Committee.

Listening to the Waters Speak - Water Testimony Series

2 Videos

What’s Next and How Can You Help?

The next gathering will be held in Oklahoma on the Spring Equinox in 2023. We will be announcing the tribal territory and location in the New Year. We are still needing your support and donations to make the Convening of the Four Winds happen.