Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline is misplaced.
We all care about our children and our grandchildren. While living among my friends of the MHA Nation, I was a charter member of the Fort Berthold Boys and Girls Club board of directors. The goal: give future generation’s safety and security and a healthy start in life. Later, I was adopted and given my Indian name at the Twin Buttes Powwow – a huge honor! Nothing in my life ranks as high an honor as that.
That’s why I watch the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protesters are lined up on private non-tribal property, off the Standing Rock Reservation, trampling private property while they claim they want their tribal property respected. The history of the people of Standing Rock should be respected. (The erasure of tribal history from UND and from the DOT is shameful – but that’s another issue.) From what I’ve seen from Energy Transfer, the pipeline owner, the company has worked with archeologists, and local tribes to diligently avoid sacred ground. It’s done more to protect Native American history than has UND or the DOT, yet I don’t see protestors lined up at UND, or at the DOT building
The presumptive speculative argument that a pipeline across the Missouri river might possibly someday affect the health of future generations is a misplaced argument. If protestors were opposed to water crossings of pipeline, why not protest pipelines crossing the Missouri River at Bismarck and Williston, or rivers at Dickinson, Valley City, Grand Forks, Jamestown or Fargo?
Why aren’t people forcefully, vociferously protesting actual not potential health threats: drug dealers in their communities, underage drinking, joblessness, single-parent families, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, obesity, and suicide of young people? Those are actual, not potential health threats that affect adults and children. Where are the sit-ins, Hollywood drop-ins, or massive demonstrations against those actual threats? Children are dying on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, and not from a pipeline, but from actual threats – that’s why the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline is misplaced.
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