I had another post planned for today, but there’s something a bit more important that I’d like to talk about, something that’s been hitting very close to home lately.
You may or may not be aware of what’s been going on in North Dakota. An energy company called Energy Transfer Partners has planned and is currently constructing a pipeline 1,172 miles long that will stretch across four states and transport over 400,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
They intend to run this pipe through North Dakota, where it will disrupt sacred burial grounds and contaminate the water for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that lives there.
Peaceful protests began on the part of the Standing Rock tribe and thousands of members of other tribes all across the country traveled to North Dakota to support them. The protests were peaceful, which means they didn’t make news headlines.
That is, until they became violent, on the part of the security officers who were hired to protect the pipeline and showed up with pepper spray and attack dogs. Kind of an odd way to respond to a peaceful protest, don’t you think?
I don’t even know where to begin. Because of my connection to the White Mountain Apache tribe here in Arizona, I take this very seriously. It breaks my heart, to say the least, to see native people being taken advantage of repeatedly, and the lack of respect that is shown to the tribes. Those living on reservations are not given the support and resources they need to be successful and they need help, not consistent abuse of them or their land.
It’s also pretty odd to me that the Energy Transfer Partners company is trying to assert that this pipeline is important because it will mean that the U.S. won’t have to compete with other countries for oil.
If we use the natural resources we already have, like wind and solar, we wouldn’t need oil at all.
There would be no competition between and within countries for oil, because we would all have access to natural energy in our own countries.
I don’t intend to treat this blog as a news platform nor do I intend to post opinion pieces on controversial topics. There are enough blogs and news sources dedicated to that. But I do write about the things that I care about here, and this is one of them.
If you’re at all able to, please add your name to this petition to the White House to stop construction, (I did) donate what you can to the Dakota Pipeline Access Fund by clicking on the link on the right, here (I did), and educate yourself on the history of the Standing Rock tribe and other tribes in your state. They really are amazing, strong people who deserve recognition and above all, respect.
A little more on the people and their land:
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal members are descendants of the Teton and Yankton Bands of the Lakota/Dakota Nations. The Reservation is thirty-four miles south of Mandan, North Dakota. The Cannon Ball River runs along the north side of the reservation and Ceder Creek in the northwest side. The reservation ends at the Perkins County and Adams County line in the west and the Missouri River on its east side. The southern line of Standing Rock Reservation ends with the Cheyenne River Reservation line. The total land area of the Standing Rock is 2.3 million acres and of that 1,408,061 million is tribally owned. The land is an important part the Lakota/Dakota people’s lives.”
Thank you for reading.
*image via standingrock.org