The people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota have had something to say for a while now against Dakota Access, the major oil company that is trying to run a pipeline near their home that could potentially contaminate their communities major water supply, and destroy culturally significant areas or artefacts. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are trying to protect their land, water, sovereign rights, history and ancestors. They have something they want you to hear, they have something they want you to see.
The #NoDAPL movement (No Dakota Access Pipeline) goes beyond whether you think something like this should be constructed or not, and here is why …
Selective Media Attention
I have discussed this with a few people, and theories range from oil companies owning segments of the media and therefore controlling the narrative (or lack of it) to favour their needs, to the theory that the story does not threaten the everyday social law and order of enough Americans to warrant attention. A clear message to the indigenous populations of this country, if that theory is true, that their issues and way of life just do not matter.
Whatever the reason, and whatever you believe to be the reason, the very fact it is not being widely reported on can only hinder the movement and its success in its goals – which of course may well be the point … and if that were true, it frankly really pisses me off. ‘The largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years …” as reported by the BBC on September 2nd as part of their look into life in the protector camps is enough of a story to be a story. If it is a major event, it is a major event – so U.S. news should be reporting on it! Any gathering that is the biggest in 100 years sounds like something this country should know about.
Why I Stand With Standing Rock
The Dakota Access pipeline is set to be constructed though/near a major water supply to the Standing Rock Reservation. If it leaked it would essentially poison an entire population.
It may never leak and all be good – but when did even risking that become an option? Oil companies may say it is safer than x, y and z … but even a possibility of it happening is enough to stand up and say no.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have stated that the government-to-government consultation that is supposed to happened from start to finish with any kind of proposals like this did not happen. Tribal sovereignty is meant to ensure that the Native populations are at the decision making process on something that effects their land at every stage – especially if there are areas or artefacts of great cultural, historical or spiritual significance – which have been found (and some destroyed by the construction company already). To not honour that is not following federal law.
Not Just An Environmental Issue
The indigenous peoples of this country are having their lands destroyed, taken away or compromised, treaties and sovereign rights are not being honoured or respected, their way of life and connection to water, land and their ancestors is being challenged in the most grotesque manner possible – even the use of attack dogs. This is going on now, yet sounds like something that happened hundreds of years ago – and the very fact I am writing about it shows that not enough has changed since those times.
Maybe with the social media #NoDAPL movement it can create enough of a challenge to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline from happening and create a wider conversation / actual push forward to serious change that is led / narrated by the nations and peoples who are involved.
So listen up, spread the word and support in any way that you can.