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STANDING ROCK: A NATION’S VALUES

This is a heavy subject, and it brings me back to my first involvement with the American Indian Movement over 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the oppression and abuse of these sacred people has only worsened since that time.

Any time the Indians have stood their grounds as protectors of our planet, they have been railroaded by our government.

From the first days when they invited the Europeans in as friends, they have been exploited and abused to the point of almost complete extinction. But their message lives on. And there are still thousands of natives across our nation that carry on the American Indian ways.

If we truly care about the vitality of our planet and it’s inhabitants, we will head their warnings, integrate their wisdom, and find harmony with their people.

This is not a story about Indians protecting their land.
This is a story about how we treat people.
A story about American values and priorities.

I’m going to stay from the usual Show Notes method here and provide you with some actual resources about what’s going on at Standing Rock in regards to #NoDAPL. I hope these provide some useful insight.

 

What is Dapl?

  • The DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) is a $3.7 billion project that intends to create a 1,172 mile pipeline spanning four U.S. states.
  • It’s set to go through North Dakota, next to the Missouri River, straight through the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, which is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Hunkpapa Oceti, Standing Rock Reservation
. It was previously the home to:
    • 50 million buffalo—the single largest migratory herd in the world.
    • There were once 250 species of grass
.
    • Today the buffalo are gone… Many of the fields are now in a single GMO crop, full of so many pesticides that the monarch butterflies are dying off.
  • The land is protected by multiple treaties from the 1800s all the way up till 2007, where yet another resolution was made specifically to ensure that no pipelines would be permitted to go through protected Indian land.
  • The Sioux tribe have opposed the Dakota Access pipeline since they first learned about it in 2014.
  • Although federal law requires the Corps of Engineers to consult with the tribe about its sovereign interests, permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation.
  • The Dakota Access pipeline was fast-tracked from Day 1 using the Nationwide Permit No. 12 process, which grants exemption from environmental reviews required by the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by treating the pipeline as a series of small construction sites.
  • Supporters believe the pipeline will help reduce the U.S.’s reliance on foreign oil, as the original proposal from Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners promised to support 100 percent domestic oil consumption. However, in an SEC filing from earlier this year, oil from the pipeline is now slated for export. This reversal comes on the heels of the December 2015 Congressional agreement to lift the 40-year ban on exporting domestically produced oil.
  • An alternative route north of Bismarck, N.D., was proposed but rejected because of its proximity to areas that supply water.
  • I have a list of 12 major oil pipeline breaks just over the last 5 years. (scroll down)
    • Each cost millions of dollars to clean up and each caused irreparable damage to water systems and other aspects of the land.
    • Hundreds of millions of oil have been spilled.
    • Millions of Americans have been effected by this.
  • In 2013, a Tesoro Logistics pipeline in North Dakota broke open and spilled 865,000 gallons of oil onto a farm. In 2010, an Enbridge Energy pipeline dumped more than 843,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, resulting in a cleanup that lasted years and cost more than a billion dollars, according to Inside Climate News.
  • Enbridge energy company is the largest stakeholder in the DAPL. From 1999 to 2010, Enbridge was responsible for 804 oil spills, dumping 5 million gallons of oil into the environment, including the largest onshore oil spillin U.S. history.
  • The Missouri River is the longest river in the U.S. and forms the fourth-largest river system in the world. It’s a critical habitat for wildlife, provides irrigation water for agriculture and livestock, and is the primary source of water for the reservation’s 8,000 residents.
  • 18 million people would be affected by a spill because of the tributaries involved. This isn’t just about sacred Indian grounds.

THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT INDIANS PROTECTING THEIR LAND OR FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE IN REGARDS TO BROKEN TREATIES.

This is a reflection of our nation's values and priorities.

    • Over 500 treaties were made with American Indian tribes, primarily for land cessations, but 500 treaties were also broken, changed or nullified when it served the government’s interests.
    • Between 1776 and 1887, the United States seized over 1.5 billion acres from America’s indigenous people by treaty and executive order.
    • Here is an Interactive map that showcases the progression of Indian land seized since the 1700s.
    • But I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one because I think it’s pretty common knowledge in terms of how we’ve oppressed and abused the American Indian people.
    • Over the course of 100 years, over 19 Million Indians were eradicated from North America alone. That’s the biggest genocide in the history of mankind.

Happy Thanksgiving...

This is an opportunity for us to realign our nation's priorities with fostering harmony with our land, honoring our word and bolstering the vitality of the people.

WORTH NOTING

President-elect Donald Trump held between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Energy Transfer Partners – down from $500,000 to $1 million in 2015 – and between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66. Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren contributed $103,000 to the Trump campaign.


As one of our greatest leaders, Chief Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Lakota, once said: “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” That appeal is as relevant today as it was more than a century ago.

Crazy Horse used to shout, “Hoka Hey!” as he entered the battlefield. It loosely translates to “It’s a good day to die”, which was referencing his belief that what they were fighting for mattered. It was something sacred. Something beautiful. Worthy of the risk and efforts.

I think today is a day we should all be shouting Hoka Hey as we unite and speak out for the protection of our land and people.

Please, stand up for:

  • The protection of our land and water.
  • The health vitality of the people, and especially those 18 million people that would suffer from a broken pipeline.
  • For holding our government accountable for keeping their word.
  • And for doing all we can to preserve the beautiful and sacred culture of our ancestors.

RESOURCES

HASH TAGS

List of pipeline spills

  • In 2013, a Tesoro Logistics pipeline in North Dakota broke open and spilled 865,000 gallons of oil onto a farm. In 2010, an Enbridge Energy pipeline dumped more than 843,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, resulting in a cleanup that lasted years and cost more than a billion dollars, according to Inside Climate News.
  • April 2016, Keystone Pipeline Freeman, South Dakota
    • TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline spilled 16,800 gallons of tar sand oil over a football field-sized piece of land.
  • May 2015, Plains All American Santa Barbara, California
    • Plains All American pipeline oil spill occurred near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara California. 143,000 gallons of crude oil was released, 21,000 of which spilled into the Pacific Ocean.
  • January 2015, Poplar Pipeline Yellowstone River, Montana
    • The Poplar pipeline spilled 31,000 gallons of oil into the frozen portion of the Yellowstone River in Montana, contaminating local drinking water supplies
  • December 2014, Belton, South Carolina
    • Over 300,000 gallons of gasoline spilled from a Kinder Morgan Pipeline in Belton South Carolina.
  • October 2014, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
    • The Mid-Valley Pipeline spilled over 4,000 barrels of crude oil into Caddo Bayou in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, killing wildlife.
  • October 2013, Smithville, Texas
    • A Koch Pipeline Company pipeline spilled 17,000 gallons of crude oil near Smithville, Texas.
  • September 2013, Tioga, North Dakota
    • Tesoro Logistics
    • More than 20,000 barrels of crude oil leaked from a Tesoro Logistics pipeline spilled into a wheat field in North Dakota.
  • March 2013, Mayflower, Arkansas
    • An Exxon heavy crude bitumen pipeline rupture spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons into neighborhoods, leading to the evacuation of homes.
  • July 2010, Kalamazoo River, Michigan
    • An Enbridge heavy crude bitumen pipeline rupture in 2010 oiled 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, and nearly four years later, the cleanup is still incomplete.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions. Please leave comments and engage with us! 

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