One brutal winter, everyone in the house got sick but me. We'd been to the IHS clinic, and strep cultures had been taken. A couple days later, the phone rang and IHS told me that everyone tested positive and needed to come back in for treatment.
I went to the neighbor's and asked if she could give us a jump.
"My husband took our good car to work," she said, "All I've got here is an old Oldsmobile 88. We haven't driven for a couple of months. I don't even know if it has gas." She pointed to a car shaped pile of snow in her yard. "I guess I can try and start it."
We both laughed pretty hard when it started right up.
Later we bought that car even though it was a most hideous pink. When she gave me the title, I said,
"Hey this says the car is gold! Why did you paint it pink?"
"We didn't. When Mount Saint Helen's erupted, the car got coated in ash and the paint changed!"
We took a can of spray paint and colored it matte black. The finishing touch was the vanity plate, "Doksa". Doksa means "creator willing". When we drove in that 1978 Oldsmobile 88, we'd get where we wanted to go, Doksa - creator willing.
Pretty soon we weren't the only ones on the reservation calling our cars by name. Once my sister-in-law was driving Doksa and ran out of gas by the railroad tracks. She walked the rest of the way home. Later a police officer showed up at her door and said, "Hey, somebody's gotta move Doksa."
I thought of Oskate and Doksa today as the Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would not be granting an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The word to describe the Oceti Sakowin camp is "Oskate". Play, water protectors. Celebrate this win.
The word to describe my family is "Doksa". Creator willing, we will be there soon.