by Jasmine Vohra
The Dakota Access Pipeline is intended to be completed this year when it will, begin its job of transporting hundreds of thousands of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. However, the pipeline will provide harsh realities for those residing in Standing Rock.
Not only is the pipeline designed to infiltrate a sacred burial ground of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but it will travel through the Missouri River—the primary drinking water source for the tribe. Those promoting the construction argue that the pipeline will be very secure, albeit the risks are clear; the safest of pipelines have the potential to leak, and the slightest leak will contaminate the water supply of a population of about 10,000.
The more widespread effects on climate change could occur as well, as the pipeline would be building up the country’s oil infrastructure. These predicaments have gathered a large number of protesters, to whom the treatment has been anything but humane. Protecting this land and what it stands for has brought on consequences of rubber bullets, tear gas, mace, and attack dogs.
Although this situation has attracted some amount of attention, the majority of our country, including our government, is ignoring the continuation of extremely unjust Native history. The culture of these people are seen in flea markets and as Halloween costumes, yet the reality is constantly ignored and silenced. The comprehension of the history of violence against Native communities and the motivation to halt any further injustice is needed now more than ever.
In order to support this worthwhile cause, you could : sign the official White House petition, donate to Indigenous efforts such as the legal defense fund, vocalize your opposition to government figures, express your protest throughout social media, or even go to Standing Rock to show your solidarity. Now is the time to fight the good fight alongside the Native community.