Cultural Connection

Violence Strikes at North Dakota Pipeline Protest

Cultural Connection

Miranda Martinez, Cactus Writer

Dakota Access pipeline has become a focus of environmental protestors and activists, specifically among Native Americans who, understandable and legally, see the government approval as having come at their expense. This nearly 1,200-mile pipeline is a threat to both treaty land, sacred burial grounds, and water for thousands of people. This pipe line will run over six states and is an issue that many are overlooking, yet it should be a top priority in order to help protect the environment.

The plans for this construction began this year, DAPL has received approval across all levels of government oversight and Dakota Access. Problematically for the project, government approval is providing the means for several Native American Nations to pull together in an effort to see DAPL go the way of Keystone, executive order or not. What is at stake here in the eyes of settler environmentalists is pretty clear: The potential environmental impact of the construction of a pipeline, not to mention what happens if it leaks or fails, is massive. For Native activists, the issues are slightly more nuanced, and need to be analyzed within the context of ongoing colonization.

The Tribal spokesman Steve Sitting Bear said “that six people had been bitten by security dogs, including a young child. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed.” Law enforcement authorities state that they had no reports of protesters being injured while videos of the attacks are all over the web. Lucky on Friday September 9th, the Obama administration temporarily halted construction on federal land of the planned pipeline that has angered the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and asked the company behind the project to suspend nearby work. Even with this halt the tribe and protesters know this is just a pause and will keep vigilant. #NODALP