Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who last year protested police brutality by not standing for the national anthem, announced his Million Dollar Pledge donations for the month of December. He pledged earlier last year to donate $100,000 every month for 10 months to organizations that seek to help oppressed communities. In October, Kaepernick donated $100,000 total to Silicon Valle De-Bug, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Urban Underground, and Mothers Against Police Brutality. And in November, Black Youth Project, Gathering For Justice, Communities United For Police Reform, and the I Will Not Die Young Campaign each received $25,000.
Half of Kaepernick’s December $100,000 contribution will go to help create a free clinic at the Standing Rock camp, which was set up in resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). The pipeline threatens the upper Missouri River, the only water supply for the Standing Rock Reservation. Kaepernick’s website states how the donated funds will be put to use by the clinic:
50% to offset salary’s for MD’s and Nurses, 25% to offset building materials for mobile medical clinic, 15% for medical supplies, 10% for liability insurance
The website for The Mni Wiconi Health Clinic Partnership at Standing Rock mentions how the idea came about and who is helping.
In early September 2016, the Do No Harm Coalition at UCSF was invited to help create a free clinic at the camp of the Standing Rock Lakota Dakota and their supporters who are gathering to protect access to clean water and dignity of their ancestral lands. In November 2016, UCSF Native American health students under the Native American Health Alliance at UCSF assumed the role of indigenous leadership for this exciting project.
The Mni Wiconi (Water is Life) Health Clinic is a free integrative clinic that is developing with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe traditional healers, UCSF providers and students, National Nurses United, Changing Woman Initiative (indigenous midwifery group) and Global Health Care Alternative Project to provide free care to all people on tribal land in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. At the invitation of the tribe, our consortium’s goal is to create a space for the imagining and practice of decolonized medicine in order to further the health of the community in the short-term with the expanded population due to pipeline resistance and in the longterm after the encampments have dissolved.
We are currently raising funds to build the clinic, to cover general liability and the necessary equipment and medications to practice responsibly. This clinic will employ two local Lakota health workers, a physician and a tribal healer, and will be staffed with volunteer nurses from RN Response Network (NNU), volunteer visiting physicians with a plan for medical student involvement from UCSF.
Our shared vision is to create a community-based clinic with indigenous leadership, following self-determined models for health resilience and a place where indigenous practitioners dominate the health care experience.