I Am the River, Amber Morning Star Byars

Amber Morning Star Byars (Choctaw and Chickasaw) shares her sense of a deeper relationship with Nature than "civilization," from the Line3 resistance frontlines in Northern Minnesota.

Amber Morning Star Byars is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Chickasaw Nation. In this podcast Amber reads her reflections from the Line3 pipeline resistance at Red Lake River in Northern Minnesota. View Amber's article on AllCreation.org to see a photo gallery from the resistance effort and read the text in this recording. This piece is part of AllCreation's Fall Equinox 2021 collection, Sacred Relationship, exploring the Native American sense of sacred relationship with Earth’s other living creatures. The photo here (by Amber) shows Red Lake River, one of just 15 rivers in the world that flows north. Red Lake River, the homelands of the Anishinaabe, and the Mississippi River are currently threatened by the Line3 tar sands pipeline replacement project.

Visit StopLine3 to help support the resistance.

About Amber
Amber Morning Star Byars has a BA in Indigenous Liberal Studies and an AFA in Studio Art from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She will graduate from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2022. 

Selected Quotes
"This article is dedicated to all the brave land defenders and water protectors holding space on frontlines around the world. May the Ancestors bless and hold you."

"Line 3 is an oil pipeline expansion constructed by Enbridge, a corporate pipeline giant responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the United States. Enbridge proposed this pipeline to carry almost a million barrels of tar sands oil per day from Canada to Wisconsin, crossing under the headwaters of the Mississippi and endangering the wild rice beds of the Anishinaabe, a violation of Anishinaabe treaty rights."

"To come to the frontlines, I left behind my elderly mother whom I care for, my animals, my work as a full-time law student, and my job as a legal research assistant. Like many others, I dropped everything."

"Yesterday morning I watched as a bald eagle circled over the river, diving to catch a fish."

"I am constantly reminded that in this place and all places, I am not separate from nature. I am the Earth, and the Earth is me. Camp is a reminder of the way we should all be living. We are not meant to sit in an office eight hours a day, staring at a screen... We should be out on the river and sleeping on the earth. We should be working with the land, preparing food for one another, telling stories, and singing songs around a fire. White culture would have us embarrassed at this notion... But I don’t care because to me, it’s the only real way to live. The rivers, lakes, land, animals, plants, stars, wind, and rain are all very real to me... All the best teachers exist in the natural realm."

"To restore balance, we must remember that we are the river... We are all related."

@BioIntegrity Partnerships