Inspired by Pubelo Action Alliance, Crystal Cavalier-Keck, citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Burlington, North Carolina, US haS created a Water Back Manifesto for our Siouan relatives in North Carolina. 

Water Back Manifesto

This manifesto declares a Yesah perspective of how our water should be managed now and in the future.


  1. Within the Yesah and indigenous perspective, rivers are viewed as mothers and women are keepers of the water. Waterways are spiritually government by our mothers and have provided sustenance for what grows on the land. The resurgence of indigenous femimist water management strategies is the only way to protect our water resources and ensure clean water for the future.

  2. Reclamation for unsettled indigenous water claims and rights being that water is governed by 19th century US water policies, delivered and stored by 20th century infrastructure in the 21st century.

  3. Water has to be managed in revolutionary spaces to ensure radical thinking for water management and watersystems as it changes within the realms of radical change or during indigenous resistance movements.

  4. In order for Indigenous communities to declare their independence from the US government, we have to develop our own water infrastructure to ensure we have water resources for generations to come. We must look for solutions to severe our dependence from federal assistance that infringe on our tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

  5. We must advocate for the spiritual and natural laws of water that she is a living entity.