Iktce Wichasa Oyate, “Common Man Society” is a band of about 45 men and women who have taken an oath to Serve, Protect, and Tend to the wellbeing of the Water Protectors and Oceti Sakowin Camp. They live and work in prayer, and believe that not one man or woman is above another; thus their name, Common Man Society. They are the camp security team.
Iktce Wichasa Oyate is not a camp unto itself but lives within Oceti Sakowin where the Seven Nations Council Fire is lit. They take their guidance and directives from the Spiritual Leaders and Elders and answer directly to them. They can be identified by armbands made of the four sacred color ribbons: yellow, red, white and black.
One of the founders of Iktce Wichasa Oyate is Frank Archambault. (see video) His Lakota name is Wici Tok Ab Iyanke, which means “Runs Before Them”. He was named in honor of his Great Grandmother, a survivor of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. His ancestor, Henry Oscar One Bull, is a nephew of Sitting Bull. Oscar was at the Battle of Little Bighorn when the U.S. flag was captured. Frank is cousin to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II. Because of his family history and because he is Hunkpapa Lakota from Standing Rock, this fight against DAPL is deeply personal for him. Frank has been at Oceti Sakowin since June, 2016, leaving his home and everything he had behind to be a Protector.
The members of Iktce Wichasa Oyate are bonded as one family and Oceti Sakowin is their home. They vow to live there until the pipeline has been stopped! The work and services they provide include, and are far from limited to:
• Security and Safety
• Back up for Emergency and Medics
• Basic Well Being of the Camp
• Skilled Maintenance
de-escalation during actions, patrolling camp 24/7, identifying and removing infiltrators and agitators, negotiation with law enforcement and military, escorts for high profile guests including Spiritual Headmen of the Oceti Sakowin and UN Ambassadors, front gate duty including welcoming and smudging, etc. Their primary calling is literally to put their bodies between all danger and the Water Protectors.
Back up for Medics:
protect the medics during actions, run their errands, bring them first aid equipment, tend their fires at camp and provide them with meals, etc. They also assist with emergency transport.
Basic Well Being of the Camp: These men and women keep a finger on the pulse of the Camp, work to help it flow and make sure that everyone’s needs are met before they rest. They go to bed late and get up early and work tirelessly throughout the day.
Skilled Maintenance: carpentry, mechanics, military training, former law enforcement, and towing cars back to camp for those who have been arrested or when a car has broken down. The tow truck is also used to bring large infrastructure to the camps and haul large items. They help put up tipis and other needs the camp may have requiring their skill sets.
Horsemanship: The Iktce have many horsemen among them. For the Lakota, horses are Relatives. They serve as transportation within the camp for patrol, communication, and errands.
Why give to the Iktce when there are other bigger camp campaigns?
Standing Rock Camp is comprised of several camps which are organized to function independently from each other while standing in unity to stop the pipeline. Within the camps are individuals and groups of people who perform specific tasks for the benefit of all of the camps, such as being on the front line or offering medical expertise. Each camp, individual and group is responsible for manifesting their own financial support and item donations.
Because of the nature of their work, the Iktce are not able to fundraise for themselves. Though they stand at the forefront of every frontline action, they serve to protect best by not being in the spotlight and not seeking recognition.
For that reason, this fundraiser has been set up by Natalia Brightwood, the partner of one of the Iktce members. Your donations will be used to purchase the equipment and supplies necessary for Iktce Wichasa Oyate to continue to protect and serve at Standing Rock Camp in a good way.
The needs of Iktce Wichasa Oyate include, but are not limited to:
• Dakota winter shelter with wood stoves or propane heaters for about 45 people
• High tech radios with far range and encryption capacity
• Security equipment
• Fuel, batteries
• Wind turbines for power
• Inverter power regulators
• Repair of the tow truck (used to stop the armed DAPL employee’s speeding car aimed at Protectors on 10/27/16)
• General maintenance of vehicles
• Horse sleds, tack equipment and care
• Hay and water heaters for the troughs for the horses
• Another truck so the tow truck is not used to haul firewood, hay, etc.
The Iktče Wičháša Oyate is a not-for-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible.
On behalf of Iktce Wichasa Oyate, thank you for your prayers and for your donations. Every dollar will be used in a good way to protect and to serve everyone at Standing Rock Camp.
Mni Wiconi. Water Is Life.