Erin spent summers in Ponca City with her grandparents when she was growing up. And now coming back to Oklahoma as the Earthquake capitol? She found that crazy. Regulations are needed, and they need to be enforced to stop these manmade earthquakes. Sitting with her was Casey Camp-Horinek, a Ponca tribal elected official who fondly called Erin, the “Pioneer Woman” after learning of Erin’s time spent in Ponca City, the hometown of Oklahoma’s Pioneer Woman statue.
For twenty years since the movie came out about her, Erin has been traveling around the country visiting communities with health issues from manmade environmental exposures. She continues to work with attorneys but encourages first that affected people find their voices and speak up about wrongs.
I loved it when she said, “We all believe someone is going to make this right for us. But she came to tell us that Superman is not coming. We have to begin to take back our right to clean water and good health by finding your own voice.”
Her passion is helping your voices to be heard. She went on to say, “We the people who live on the land and drink the water, breathe the air, don’t have to have a PhD to make observations. I see what I see and we have a problem. People are using their voices and I feel good about it.” Boy! The hundreds of people in the room were definitely using their voices! They had been rattled by nine earthquakes in just a number of hours and they were angry about the damage to their homes and property, but also speaking out about the fears and anxiety they were feeling.
Casey Camp-Horinek spoke about the nest of pipelines running under the Ponca Tribal housing, and how every time the earth shakes she cries. What happens to the pipelines since her water lines are being replaced already due to the damage caused by the earthquakes? Will the pipelines cause an explosion and lives be lost?
When Erin spoke about the earth in general, the beauty of the land, the air and the water and the significant damage that has been done to our earth, she called “now” a pivotal moment and that we will have to “fight like a dog to turn this around” but that it begins with you. Her last question to all attending was, “What will be our legacy?” She said she is certainly going to give it her best shot to make this world better.
I guess I have been trying to make the world a better place too, as well you probably have, but I think we haven’t started fighting like a dog yet, and I am imagining it is going to take it.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim
Who must soon be fighting like a dog.