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Posted by: News_Desk on 11/19/2016 06:34 AM Updated by: News_Desk on 11/19/2016 06:34 AM
Expires: 01/01/2021 12:00 AM

DAPL Violates First American Rights~ A Letter To The Editor By Samantha Smith

Angels Camp, CA...The United States has broken over 500 agreements between the government and First Americans, according to NPR. Currently, in North Dakota on the Sioux reservation, the Laramie Treaty of 1851 is being violated. The land dedicated to the Indigenous people, as a result of this violation, is being desecrated by a large oil company, called Energy Transfer. This is patently illegal. "Tensions have escalated …, with local security forces employing an increasingly militarized response to protests and forcibly moving encampments located near the construction site," said Maina Kaia, the UN Special Rapporteur concerning the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The United States must honor it’s treaties.


The first issue at hand is that of the illegality of the pipeline construction. In 1851, the United States pushed many Lakota and Dakota tribes to Fort Laramie to protect the traveling of American settlers to the West coast. Now, however, the government is doing nothing to halt the wrongful construction taking place in the south-western region of North Dakota. Treaties, laws, ordinances, and codes are all implemented in the hopes to solve problems, improve society, and preserve depletable resources. If individuals and institutions like Energy Transfer, do not uphold, or obey, these vital regulations, then not only could the land be poisoned, but society itself is subject to the utter failure of the state.

In addition to the breached treaty, first amendment rights are being threatened, and in some cases violated, by police agencies at Standing Rock, North Dakota. For example, the practice of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, press, and arguably freedom to petition are all being infringed upon. This has evolved into a fight for Native Americans to obtain human rights parallel to the human rights granted to countless other individuals and minority groups in this country, and across the globe.

The harms of this pipeline construction are significant at multiple levels and from many different perspectives; being politically, socially, culturally, and environmentally damaging. Both the construction of the pipeline, and the proposed use of the pipeline, threaten life from almost all ecosystems. There are over 24 million people who live downstream from the construction site near the Missouri River. This construction threatens the water quality for these people, along with all animal and plant life that is dependent upon the water from the Missouri River.

Amid a historic Presidential election cycle, how do we, the public, stop what is being done? Many citizens feel that they must travel to North Dakota and physically participate in the peaceful protesting, but even more individuals are restricted in some way, making the trip unfeasible. No matter the reason behind not being able to make the journey to North Dakota, there are helpful things that we can do here at home to support those being directly affected, and threatened, by this conflict.

Ironically, the most efficient strategy to halt construction of this pipeline is through legal processes. An initiative is a legal process by which the citizens of this country can propose laws, and in some states, constitutional amendments, that will end up on the ballot to be voted on. With support in numbers, an initiative can be an effective way to set meaningful and permanent precedent. However, many Americans are not extremely familiar with the United States’ legal institutions or their workings. For those who can relate to the unfamiliarity with government procedures, there are other supportive measures that can be taken. For example, the Sacred Stones website has published a list of goods that the camp, and its’ inhabitants, are in need of. This list includes simple supplies like: firewood, canvas, sleeping bags, propane and rope. The website notes that the camp appreciates all supportive banners and posters sent to them as well!

The land being threatened and destroyed in North Dakota is not just land that natives are concerned about due to the Laramie treaty, but is land that is best described as sacred. The Sioux tribe in North Dakota has explained that if the construction continues and is successfully completed, then burial sites, ceremonial sites, and culturally significant artifacts will be annihilated. This absolutely cannot proceed. The North Dakota access pipeline construction is illegal, threatens our environment, threatens the health of individuals, animals, plants, and further strips First Americans of their constitutional rights.

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Lakota Tribe
Posted on: 2016-11-19 07:38:36   By: Anonymous
No worries our new Federal Nazi regime, ur uh AKA the Trump Administration will look into it.

[Reply ]

    Losing Financing
    Posted on: 2016-11-19 08:41:26   By: Anonymous
    One large foreign bank has dropped out financing the pipeline, due to the trashing of the First Americans sacred tribal lands.
    American banks Wells Fargo, BofA also are reconsidering financing the reason ; dwindling yields from the shale fields.The wells produce for a few years, then dry up.
    The highest production of Baaken shale oil was 3 years ago, the pipeline would not carry enough oil to pay itself off.
    The same is happening in the Marcellus shale gas fields in Pa, Wv, Oh.

    Shale fossil fuels are a ponzi scheme, the wells play out in 2-3 years, only refracking (expensive) can bring them back, and for a shorter time, less gas/oil produced.
    Only new capitalization keeps it going, the definition of a ponzi scheme.

    Trump speaks about the rebirth of "clean coal"(no such thing) and will push for extraction in our Federal lands, parks , and more subsidies for fossil fuels, while taking subsidies from clean less expensive renewable energy,; wind solar, etc.
    The old thinking which is causing the climate crisis, is not where America needs to go.
    An increase in clean renewable energy creates more jobs, and much less climate impact than going back to dirty fossil fuel, which causes more human illness, and peripheral costs .
    It just doesn't make economic sense, but new tax cuts for the 1% doesn't either.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Losing Financing
      Posted on: 2016-11-19 21:54:29   By: Anonymous
      Wow. You really hit the heart of the matter. Thank you for your concise and information. I totally agree.

      [Reply ]

    Re: Lakota Tribe
    Posted on: 2016-11-20 06:33:24   By: Anonymous
    Hey dimwit, look at what administration has been allowing it. You must of graduated at the top of your class, as most ignorant. Now back to your special corner and put on your hat with the words DUNCE on it.

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2016-11-19 08:49:55   By: Anonymous
A well written, thoughtful, and informative argument! Our new president has made this pipeline a goal of his, and it is short sided, detrimental, and irreversible. He is only looking at the dollar signs, not the environmental, social, historical, or ethical impacts. Hopefully, other Americans will educate themselves abut this project and get involved.

[Reply ]

Honor treaties
Posted on: 2016-11-19 15:14:38   By: Anonymous
Following your request for our government to honor treaties, is for the states and the citizens of this nation to also honor treaties of the United States. Specifically, our international treaties where we have agreed with other nations to declare marijuana illegal. States and citizens that openly ignore our treaties are creating a Constitutional crisis as the Sixth Amendment declares international treaties to be supreme law. If the states desire to have the nation move in a different direction on this topic, then bring forth an amendment to the Constitution.

[Reply ]

Dakota Pipeline
Posted on: 2016-11-20 11:04:08   By: Anonymous
Very well written Sam Smith. I truly appreciate how you presented your editorial. I hope more people read this and awaken to this issue and realize they can take a stance.

[Reply ]

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