For those that aren’t familiar, the “The Dakota Access Pipeline will transport crude oil from hydrofracked sites in the Bakken Formation in northwestern North Dakota, which holds about 7.4 billion barrels of oil. This oil-rich rock formation gives the pipeline its other nickname, the Bakken pipeline.” We should be doing everything that we can to stop this pipeline from contaminating sacred Native American land. Native Americans have faced colonialism, genocide, and oppression for centuries. The least that the United States government can do is abide by Native American treaties and show respect to a community that has been taken advantage of for centuries. There are many different aspects of the pipeline that make this issue controversial. The Sioux tribe at Standing Rock is outraged that a plan like this would ever be considered (due to the fact that it goes against signed treaties). There is also an environmental factor that plays a role into the pipeline. This pipeline will contaminate water on reservation and make it so that people will not have access to healthy drinking water. Having clean water is a human right. Similar to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan we should be doing everything that we can to ensure that people in our country have access to safe drinking water.
I stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and hope that others will too. Of course, the importance of having safe drinking water is crucial but this decision goes into a long history of the United States government taking full advantage of Native American communities. Due to the genocide that Native Americans in this country have faced, it has made life on reservation extremely difficult. There are high rates of poverty, alcoholism and drug use on reservations due to a lack of resources on reservation (this dates back to the early days of colonialism). We see modern day acts of privilege through this pipeline. Once again, Native Americans getting taken advantage of and their livelihood is going unrecognized. Obama made the recent decision to suspend the pipeline, this is great news but we need more. We need to ensure that this pipeline does not go through Native American land. As a University student I have a responsibility to spread knowledge and get people involved with the cause. I hope people take the time to educate themselves and others. #noDAPL