Faith Spotted Eagle about 'red rage'

Faith Spotted Eagle is one of the principal moral leaders of the Standing Rock protest. She participates in strategy development, manages international relations and knows her way to court.

In the 2016 presidential election, she became the first Native American to win an electoral vote for President of the United States.

Besides innumerous activities at home and abroad, she also organizes educational programs for troubled Native American youth.

Spotted Eagle: ‘We live in occupied territory; we are repressed. This leads to anger and frustration. To outsiders, it is hard to explain how it feels to be treated like a second-class citizen and systematically be confronted with racism.

Even in Standing Rock we saw signs of a certain degree of colonization. We were surprised by the white privilege attitude and arrogance that some of the white activists brought to our camp.

It reflected old colonial behavior. Some came to take something that was not theirs to have. You cannot claim a culture without putting in the effort. It was painful to see, because many of us have died in the battle to maintain our way of living.'

'Now, we can reflect on this and learn from it, but for a long time there was no space to talk about this. There was no such thing as ‘white privilege’ yet. I often use the term ‘red rage’. The historical trauma is very big. And by historical, I do not mean that is it behind us.

It still leads to problems like alcohol abuse and crime. And the unemployment rate in the reservations is high.

When I was in college, a group of white guys broke my leg. I have forgotten about the physical pain but I can vividly remember the look in that young man’s eyes before he got to me. There were generations of hate in that look.

I have managed to transform my rage, but there has to be a place for dealing with these traumas. We have started to heal, but we are not there yet.'