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Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca) is a long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist, and actress. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family, and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. In April of 2008 Camp-Horinek, as a delegate of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), was chosen to speak to the United Nations Permanent Forum on indigenous Issues and present IEN’s global platform regarding the environment and Native rights.
She plays the role of Irene in Barking Water (d. Sterlin Harjo), which in 2009 premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was selected for New Directors/New Films festival in New York. Her love for acting began in the early 1980’s when she was worked with the American Indian Theatre Company of Tulsa, whose members have gone on to achieve great success in Hollywood and beyond. Camp-Horinek has served as a mentor and advisor for aspiring Native American filmmakers, actors, and actresses in many venues, including the Sundance Film Institute and local summer programs.
Ms. Camp-Horinek on the International Women's Earth and Climate Summit:
“We, of the Ponca Nation, are the survivors of a holocaust. We were forcibly removed from our ancestral lands in the Nebraska and South Dakota Regions, the lands that the Creator had placed us upon, to what is Oklahoma in 1877. Today we are immersed in an intensifying form of Environmental Genocide. The Extractive Industry, specifically Fossil Fuel extraction and refining, has impacted our present day homeland in an irreparable way. The steady degradation of Air, Water, and Earth has affected the Ponca People as potently as the small pox infected blankets did in the 1800’s. We feel that the Sacred Covenant of Humanity, living in respect and balance with All Living Things, has been defiled by the commodification of our “Natural Resources”. Each person must ask themselves, “What will we leave for the generations to follow?”
To President Obama, and the elected Leaders of the World, I ask, What is your answer? How will your decedents view you and how you handled their future by making crucial choices to allow oil and gas industries to continue to defile our Mother Earth? What will your leave as your legacy, destruction or Life?’”