//EMILY KINNEY & ERICA VENABLE//
The Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL) is a new pipeline, approximately 1,172 miles long, that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production sites in North Dakota to Illinois. The purpose of this pipeline is to allow the transport of domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota, to major refineries in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
On the surface this project looks like an innovative way to transport oil between states. However, the installation of this pipeline would affect the drinking water and violate the native land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. There are sacred prayer areas, burial grounds, and artifacts all throughout the planned area of the DAPL.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a claim in federal court that this plan would cause the tribe’s clean drinking water supply to be affected, as part of the pipeline would be dug underneath the Missouri River. Clean drinking water in America is a very big issue, considering Flint, Mich. hasn’t had clean water since April 25, 2014. Since they are Native American, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe throughout America’s past has not been treated well like many other minorities. Clean water should be a basic human right yet these incidents, and many others, are still happening in a “developed country.”
The government as a whole has not done anything to support or assist the Standing Rock Tribe. However there are some representatives, such as Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, who are calling on President Barack Obama to condemn the acts of violence against the DAPL protesters. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling on the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the tactics used by police against the peaceful protesters. The self named “Water Protectors” have had police violate them with tear gas and high pressure water hoses in freezing temperatures.
The main problem with this crisis is that an entire tribe of native people and outside supporters believe that the pipeline would be detrimental to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s land and drinking supply. Yet, these protestors are being physically harmed by a militarized police force with rubber bullets, tear gas and freezing water. They have every right to protest and are doing so to prevent harm to an ignored people, yet the government and police are against them. Their sacred land and well-being are being threatened. If we hold places such as the National Mall so highly, why can’t we do the same to another piece of history? Tribes such as Standing Rock have been in this country longer than most Americans yet we turn a blind eye at the destruction of one of the last physical pieces of their culture.
We encourage you to help support these peaceful protesters by calling your representatives in the following ways:
The White House: (202) 456 1414
Wait on hold for about ten minutes then politely ask that President Obama stop the DAPL by not allowing the permit to go under the Missouri River. You can also ask them to stop the brutal treatment of the Water Protectors.
US Army Corps: (202) 761 5903
They will only accept a message so there will be no hold time. Be brief and ask that they do not issue a permit for the DAPL.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple: (701) 328 220
Ask him to stand down his militarized police presence and to support the tribe’s peaceful protest, and their rights to it.