Imagine someone tells you that you can’t live on your land anymore—the land you and your family has owned since before you were born. Imagine the government coming in and taking away the only part of you. That’s how the Standing Rock Sioux’s tribe feels right about now. The project was proposed by “Energy Transfer Partners.” It is a 3.8 Billion dollars, 1,172-mile project that will carry “half a million barrels of oil daily from North Dakota’s oil fields through South Dakota and on into Iowa.” Due to this recent development the Standing Rock tribe decided to sue the U.S. Government because it violates many federal laws. One law in particular is the National Historic Preservation act. It will also disturb sacred sites outside of the reservation. The lawsuit states that the pipeline could have an effect on the drinking water for more than 8,000 tribes. There has been protest by the tribe since April. They have also been joined by other American Indians as well as non-native Americans from across the country. On a personal note, if I had the money and the means to travel, I would fly to North Dakota and protest alongside with them. I have Native American in me and it is up to all of us to stand together as one to help our friends out in times like this.
Nearly 40 have been arrested since the protest has grown in size. Last weekend officials stated that construction crews had already bulldozed many sites of “significant and cultural value.” Of course the ETP (Energy Transfer Partners) deny it. This led to a squabble between protesters in the tribe and the security on the site. The tribe was not informed that the pipeline would go through their grounds. Due to the trial, several members of the tribe provided documents to the court that proves that one of the main burial sites they use is the same one the pipeline will run through. This will ruin and destroy the burial sites and sacred lands. The documents also proved that government officials had missed major archaeological discoveries. So instead of building a pipeline lets dig em all up!! Yes, that’s the solution. Disturb a peaceful people’s home and their dead for historical gain. This past Friday the government ruled that they were halting the work on the pipeline now. The Obama administration has also invited the tribes for talks about the pipeline. Because of Obama’s ruling the construction of the pipeline and its future is uncertain. We can only hope that the ruling will stay strong. All I can say is that it should have never happened. The government limited where they could live to begin with and then they expect them to go quietly I’m quite glad they protested. My thought for you to ponder throughout this is through all the Black lives matter vs. All lives matter what about the other minorities that are being swept under the rug and DON’T have the voice that others have? Just think about it.
This article was written by Lauren Smith.