For over six months, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies have been peacefully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. A pipeline that runs through the Missouri river, through their land. TePees and tents have been placed at what is now known as Camp Standing Rock where digging should have begun. Other times this would be consider a live in protest. Implying that the people protesting, moved from their home, to occupy the area their protesting. That is not the case here. THEY ALREADY LIVE THERE. Sure, sure other people have moved in on the land to help protest and some over flow has bleed on to government property. That’s not what we are here to discuss. 100 plus tribes are represented there as well as sympathizers and empathizers. I almost feel trapped on this island, unable to physically stand with Camp Standing Rock. But, isn’t that what you’re suppose to do when someone is being picked on, stand up for them? We have the right to assemble. But, the protesters have been arrested and tear gassed by the police force. And a couple weeks back, a private security team came in with dogs causing injury to these people. Where are the cops now? Somethings not right. It’s your personal responsibility to do something
What I really don’t understand is where the misscommunication is. “This land is my land, this land is your land…” We’ve been singing about lines since the foundation of our country. When the earliest Americans landed here, they celebrated the kindness of the “Indians”. (Whom they wrongly named and began to kill off with forgine diseases.) Thus, thanksgiving. The workers and big guys behind the pipeline will still take the holiday off work. Maybe, in school, their kindergartens will make hats out of paper bags and fall colored paper to look like head dresses. They’ll sit around the table and be thankful for their abundance. Maybe watch the Redskins play the Cowboys. All the while not realizing they are directly disrespecting the Native Americans and their right to clean water.
The vast majority of reservations in the United States live below the poverty line. They lack proper resources such as education, job opportunities, healthy food, and yes even clean water. Why are they trying to make it worse? Note: while I am discussing Native Americans and their fight for water, this problem isn’t limited to this minority group. The Flint Water Crisis effected mostly black families. The county switched to a cheaper water supply in order to save money and ended up contaminating the people with high amounts of led. The families spent two years complaining about the water before something was done. Your body can only live 3 days with out water. 70% of your body is water. We consider ourselves a first world country. Yet people are having to fight for access to clean water? As humans and citizens of this country, this is all of our problem. I mean, with the large amount of pesticides and spilled oil in our water already, it won’t be long until we realize this is nationwide problem. Not just a minorities problem. In the Hawaiian Language, wai translates to fresh water. Do you know what waiwai means? Not water water. Waiwai means wealth. There is a direct correlation between prosperity and clean water. It’s the link to quality of life. With out clean water, we can not prosper.
The difference between the two sides fighting over the Missouri River is this. One wants it for the sacred history, drinking water, and because it’s theirs. The other wants the water for making money and transporting fossil fuel. Oil is soon to be an outdated method of energy. Let me rephrase that, it is an outdated method of energy. Alternative methods such as solar and wind power have proven to be just as effective and less harmful. As the oil industry continues, the use and growth of alternative method are discouraged. When big money quits pouring into oil, it can shift to alternatives and make them affordable on a residential level. The companies that made nitrogen bombs for WWII switched to making pesticides post war. (Killing people from the inside out is less frowned upon and yields more profit.) It’s not a new concept.
The protest first began to circulate social media with the hashtag #NoDAPL (No Dakota Access Pipeline). It received no recognition or interest from mainstream media until about two months ago. I mean who can blame the media, there’s bigger thing to worry about than Native Americans and natural resorces. Leave that to the hippies. Everyone else should stay focused on if they want a indecisive puppet or a racist and sexist biggot in office. Alas, the movement began receiving such a large amount of social media coverage they had no choice to address what is going on. The protest received large media coverage and the Obama Administration has made (noncommittal) comment on the issue. This does not mean the fight has been won. We have to keep the momentum going. How? By creating space for Camp Standing Rock. You make space by physically joining the protest, sharing the hashtag, donating, participating in conversation, knowing where you stand, or writing a blog post.