Standing Rock On The Hudson

“New to the Clearwater Festival this year – ‘Standing Rock on the Hudson,’ a 90 minute program of ceremony, speaking and song featuring Native American performers and River activists.”

Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival (Clearwater Festival) is the country’s oldest and largest music and environmental festival, bringing together major musical acts and Clearwater’s own brand of green activism for a unique weekend every June. Longtime Clearwater friends joining for the weekend included Tom Paxton, Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely, Holly Near, Tom Chapin, Guy Davis, Josh White Jr., Joanne Shenandoah, The Kennedys,  Jay Unger & Molly mason, Martha Redbone’s Roots Project and The Vanaver Caravan — along with many other incredible, talented music and dance groups, storytellers, crafters and environmental information booths.

Sunday’s 90 minute program featured Native American performers and River activists who joined forces to connect the pipeline issues surrounding the Standing Rock Sioux tribe & the damming of the Missouri River with the challenges that the Hudson River faces right now. Featured artists & speakers included: longtime Shinnecock activist/singer Margo Thunderbird & multi-instrumentalist David Amram, host & flautist Evan Pritchard (Mi’kmaq), traditional singer Quiltman & son (Warm Springs) from John Trudell’s Bad Dog, actress/singer/dancer Joan Henry (Cherokee/Apache/Arawak), Matoaka Little Eagle (Tewa/Apache/Chickahominy), Shannon Rothenberger Flynn (Michif/Ojibwe Bear Clan descent), Tim Trewhella (Water Protector), singer-songwriter Jay Mankita, featured speaker & Founding Riverkeeper John Cronin III, Fidel Moreno (Huichol/ChiChimeca/Mexican-American), Etaoqua (Tunxis), activist Chief.

Opening the program was the Ramapough Lunaape Nation’s traditional drum group. The Grandmothers – Henry, Little Eagle & Flynn – offered several water songs and brought forth a simple participatory water ceremony that is done every morning at Standing Rock and was taught to Flynn by one of her elders to share. Henry closed the program empowering the audience to reconnect with the powerful spirit of water within and all around us, with her water anthem Ama Nvwoti from the newly premiered Earth-savvy Henson/Defoe production CRANE: On Earth, In Sky.