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March 26, 2020

Our Personal Responsibility with COVID-19

Midwest SOARRING members, supporters, friends and community,

I am writing this out of my concern for all of us. There may not be one easy answer to dealing with the COVID 19 virus. Certain precautions can be taken as individuals such as keeping a safe distance from others, using sanitary procedures, being mindful of surfaces that include door handles, knobs, gas pumps and shopping carts. Stay at home and don’t infect others.

Use face masks and respirator half masks if needed. Use common sense. Follow the recommended store limits on purchasing necessary items. Look in on your elderly neighbor or single parent who may be struggling, someone who is disabled, alone, or recovering from an illness. Stay clear if you are ill yourself. Have good respect for others. Never forget our spiritual core. We often forget gratitude, respect, love and genuine concern for the main commitment of life, our Mother Earth.

We are destroying the Earth by our sheer numbers and overpowering the natural resources the Creator gifted us with. We must pay major attention towards all our disrespectful actions and how this affects all other life forms or suffer the consequences.

I am asking all pipe carriers and people of different beliefs and faiths to unite on Sunday, March 29, 2020 at Noon, Eastern Daylight Time to share a global prayer from the heart. Wherever we happen to be at the moment, let us each pray in our own manner for one hour. Now it is time for a global shift and a time for action. We must protect the Red Bloods and the Green Bloods from further destruction and begin a healing towards all.

Joseph Standing Bear Schranz
President, Midwest SOARRING Foundation

July 5, 2013


Midwest SOARRING Foundation co-sponsored a presentation June 8, 2013 with the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter on Fracking in Illinois. The lecture helped raise awareness among a diverse group of Illinois residents about the environmental costs of fracking.

Sandstone cliff walls of Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL

Sandstone cliff walls of Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL

Many were unaware that there are two types of mining processes that can occur with fracking. One process extracts sand from the earth which is then sent to fracking sites throughout the world. This process is occurring in Illinois just outside of Starved Rock State Park near Ottawa, Illinois. The actual frack mining involves mixing sand, water, and chemicals at high pressure into a wellbore to create fractures. Drilling a well a mile deep with numerous veins is common to extract gas and petroleum.

The audience was astonished to learn that two to 7 million gallons of fresh water per vein are required, and one frac well alone can have seven or eight veins. It was easy to understand that a tremendous amount of precious, fresh water is wasted in the process, not to mention the toxic slurry of chemicals that is left above ground, and earthquakes that can result from the destabilization of the ground due to the deep drilling.

Joseph Standing Bear Schranz believes it is all of our duty to safeguard the environment for the next seven generations. He states, “We are all accountable to the future.”

November 12, 2012

Save Starved Rock State Park

The Sierra Club, Midwest SOARRING Foundation, and other concerned citizens are opposed to the Mississippi Frac Sand Mine’s permit to mine near Starved Rock State Park. Starved Rock State Park, like the rest of Illinois State Parks, is a unique asset for all the people of Illinois.

Watch the video of Joseph Standing Bear Schranz, Founder of Midwest SOARRING Foundation, speak about the importance of saving Starved Rock State Park.

Starved Rock and nearby Matthiessen State Park are jewels in the state of Illinois. Only an hour and a half drive from Chicago, Starved Rock has unrivaled canyons and rare salt marshes that provide valuable habitat for plants and wildlife. Over two million visitors a year hike the miles of park trails and enjoy the serenity and peace of the canyons with their cascading waterfalls. These visitors bring tourism revenue to La Salle county businesses located nearby the park.

This will all change if the Mississippi Frac Sand Mine is allowed to operate just outside the park. The unique natural getaway La Salle County provides will be spoiled with a noisy, dusty mine adjacent to the park. Tourism will decline. The water flow surrounding the park and the rare salt marshes could easily be damaged, impacting the beautiful waterfalls in the canyons. Loud blasting from the mine will disturb wildlife and could fracture the surrounding soft sandstone cliffs and canyon walls to leading to increased rock falls. There is also the danger of nearby residents and workers inhaling silica dust from mining which overtime could lead to Silicosis, a non-reversible disease of the lungs.

We must protect Mother Earth and the treasures the Creator has given us. Native Americans teachings urge us to think about the next seven generations. Is this what we want to pass on to our children and next generations?

We urge you to write Governor Pat Quinn and the IDNR to express your opposition to the Mississippi Frac Sand Mine being allowed to mine adjacent to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. View sample letter.

Contact Governor Pat Quinn:
Office of the Governor
The James R. Thompson Center
100 Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Contact Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Marc Miller, Director

One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271

November 2, 2012

Peace & Dignity Runners Ceremony at MSF Cultural Center

Every four years the Peace and Dignity Runners (who are either Native American or non-native runners appreciative of Native American culture) begin a run at opposite ends of the hemisphere and travel to a their final destination in Central America. The People of the Condor (Argentina), and The People of the Eagle (Alaska). travel these far distances for the purpose of uniting and healing indigenous people. The runners bring sacred staffs to as many Native American communities throughout North America as possible. They share prayers and blessings, spiritual traditions, and hold conversations about peace. Their final destination is Guatemala where the runners should meet in mid-November, and enjoy a huge celebration at one of the ancient Mayan cities.

On two separate weekends in August Midwest SOARRING Foundation was privileged to provide a venue for a group of these Peace & Dignity Journey runners.  A group of twenty runners from Canada, Puerto Rico, California, and New York arrived and participated in a ceremony with the sacred staffs they carried, offering prayers for peace while they were here. Afterwards all enjoyed a cookout with Midwest SOARRING Foundation members. The runners left heading west and south, eventually ending up in Texas by the end of September, before reaching their final destination in Central America, mid-November.

Midwest SOARRING member, Nina Gilhang who was present that evening said,

” I can’t remember all of their names, yet their spirits were so bright, and this memory will stay with me for life.”

Peace and Dignity Journeys have been organized every four years since 1992.  The 2012 event is dedicated to water, how it is used and misused, and the power it carries.


Aanii Boozhoo

Midwest SOARRING Foundation invites all people to gather into an ever-increasing wider circle that preserves Mother Earth, and the rich traditions of the ancestors. We invite you to learn about the many intertribal Native American lifeways that provide wisdom and direction in our contemporary world. In keeping with this path, Midwest SOARRING Foundation works to maintain the traditions of the ancestors and to conserve and restore to health the natural environment.

We invite you to join our circle. Dance at our pow wows. Attend our cultural events and support the bison herd-our nation's greatest herbivore and symbol of hope and survival for all people. As you listen, you will learn. Together we become the Spirit of the ancestors.

Joseph Standing Bear Schranz

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