The Tears of Today



Protesters celebrating after a recent victory against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Alex Russell, Copy Editor

Native Americans have a standoff with the company owning the access pipeline that crosses through sacred native burial grounds.

The Native Americans who have not been recently disturbed  have been dealing with this pipeline project since 2014. But the spotlight didn’t get put on the project until recently, when the alluring pipeline got closer and closer to the Missouri River, the tribe’s main water source.

There has been a long history of  Americans turning the blind eye and taking advantage of the native tribes. Native Americans have a long history of being trampled on and pushed around. Since the first American colony in 1607, non natives have been have been stealing natives land.

Not only will this project “land”  on sacred tribal grounds , the project could lead to water pollution, causing Americans all over to suffer from the effects.

Tribes have been forcibly removed from their homes where families and centuries of tribal history had been made. A significant example of natives being removed with force would be The Trail of Tears which took place in the years of 1838 through 1839. This horrific act was sparked by President Andrew Jackson, declaring the Indian Removal Act in the year 1830.

In the year 1890, the battle of the wounded knee took place, the Lakota Sioux tribe resisted white forces who were trying to forcibly move natives west; this battle resulted in 300 Lakota Sioux deaths.

No matter how much the American government says they are going to do for the natives they never  follow through with the hoaxes they call treaties.

The pipeline is planned and is being built through one of the Rock Sioux sacred burial grounds.The land is not legally the natives, but it is their’s rightfully so, they were the original people in the country of America, hence they are Native Americans.

All  settlers did was steal what wasn’t up for the taking and called it theirs; they treated land like a 3 year old does a toy. They were able to  do this because the Native Americans had no law abiding documents claiming their land to be their land and they had no official form of government.

As written in an article by Justin Worland, “the Army Corps of Engineers, which permitted the project… violated the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)”.

The Native Americans are suing the Army Corps because they are believed to have  violated the NHPA and the NEPA. NHPA means the agencies must  to consider the cultural significance of federally permitted sites.

While the case is on trial, the building of the pipelines continue. If this were a police officer or a person of any other profession, they would be placed on leave or be put on modified duty.  But for the sake of “getting it done”, the pipeline continues.

The pipelines are set to go right under the Missouri River. The river connects to the other major rivers such as the Mississippi. The Missouri is the largest river in North America and acts as the primary water source for the tribe.

By conforming to modern day American society, the natives abandon their culture and traditions. They live off the land.

If the pipeline leaks or ruptures, it will pollute the tribe’s primary water source. This river also acts as a source of irrigation for nearby farmers and ranchers. This is how they water their animals and crops.

The pipeline runs the risk of polluting not only the Missouri but all other major rivers in the US,because all the other major rivers connect to the Missouri at some point. this could be detrimental.

By putting in this pipeline, it makes it easier for  gas guzzling Americans to obtain their oil more effectively and this might even produce price cuts.

Politicians, environmentalists, etc. are trying to make the Earth a greener, healthier place. But this pipeline could lead to even more greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it is promoting, not demoting, the sale of oil. Overall, the production of the pipeline needs to be stopped.

Natives aren’t peacefully protesting because they are scared for the sake of preserving their heritage.

They are also scared about the impact this pipeline could have on the environment. By putting in these pipelines, we are increasing the availability of oil to a country that as a whole produces staggering amounts of c02 emissions annually. In 2014 statistics state that 6,870 million metric tons of CO2 was emitted with a 7% annual increase. Thus aiding in the gigatonnes of emissions produced  throughout the world yearly.

The land the US citizens call theirs, isn’t theirs. The soil our country was built on was ripped from the hands of the Natives, thousands of people were forcibly removed from their homes and were relocated, by a government they didn’t even call their own.

Native Americans feel scared and threatened because the land they call home is at danger of being polluted and what is stopping the government from saying that’s not their land anymore? The American government has a long history of violating their treaties made with the natives. And who is going to stop them?

The Dakota pipelines are planned to go straight through sacred burial grounds, has the  potential to cause serious water pollution,  and could lead to the vast majority of Americans suffering from the consequences of pollution.

Our government needs to learn what’s their’s and what’s not. They vastly take advantage of things that

aren’t theirs for the taking. The pipelines have violated basic ethical values.

UPDATE: The company Energy Transfer Partners who own the 1,170 mile long pipeline have yet again enveloped themselves in a major problem.Recently the company had two spills of drilling fluids leading to two million gallons of fluids spilled.