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Morning rays, CaƱon de Chelly

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Standing Rock


A lot of people are very concerned about Standing Rock, There is a lot of bullshit rhetoric and half truth on both sides of the argument. I have been trying to wade through it and figure out what was what but haven't made that much headway.

I am sure I am missing a lot. Please feel free to correct me.

The 1170 mile Dakota Access Pipeline crosses a half mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. This pipeline will ship light sweet crude oil from the Bakken oil fields to Illinois. The members of the reservation are concerned about the effects of a possible spill on their water sources. And they should be. The contractor, Sunoco Logistics, has the worst spill record in America.
Sunoco Logistics (SXL.N), the future operator of the oil pipeline delayed this month after Native American protests in North Dakota, spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010, according to a Reuters analysis of government data.
Opponents of the deal say that the town of Bismarck managed to get the pipeline rerouted but that is not really true. The Army Corps decided that that route would be longer and have more potential impact on water. Snopes breaks it down pretty well.
According to that source, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (not the residents of Bismarck) considered and rejected an alternate route through the city in DAPL's early planning stages. The plan was quickly abandoned, not because the Sioux were considered to be less valuable than their neighbors in Bismarck, but because the alternate route ran an additional eleven miles and included several more water crossings. Additionally, the decision to abandon that route came from a planning party, and did not appear to have anything to do with one set of residents being heard while a second set was ignored.
Energy Transfer Partners, the developers of the pipeline seem pretty hardcore, especially if you read about their negotiation m.o.

On September 3, 2016, the Dakota Access Pipeline brought in a private security firm. The company used bulldozers to dig up part of the pipeline route that was subject to a pending injunction motion; it contained possible Native graves and burial artifacts.

I hate the sacred lands argument in a way because I think that most native americans consider all lands sacred. Water quality rings truer for me and of more paramount concern.

According to the head of the tribe, chairman David Archambault II, the whole project was fast tracked and granted some spurious environmental objections.
Our tribe has opposed the Dakota Access pipeline since we first learned about it in 2014. Although federal law requires the Corps of Engineers to consult with the tribe about its sovereign interests, permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation supported more protection of the tribe’s cultural heritage, but the Corps of Engineers and Energy Transfer Partners turned a blind eye to our rights. The first draft of the company’s assessment of the planned route through our treaty and ancestral lands did not even mention our tribe.
The Dakota Access pipeline was fast-tracked from Day 1 using the Nationwide Permit No. 12 process, which grants exemption from environmental reviews required by the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by treating the pipeline as a series of small construction sites. And unlike the better-known Keystone XL project, which was finally canceled by the Obama administration last year, the Dakota Access project does not cross an international border — the condition that mandated the more rigorous federal assessment of the Keystone pipeline’s economic justification and environmental impacts.
Of course, the United States government has been screwing  the Sioux for a very long time. In 1959, members of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux were forcibly relocated to make way for a new Lake Oahe dam project. Over 200,000 acres were flooded on the two reservations. They are still seeking compensation for their losses.
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was originally established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation. Article 2 of the Treaty of Fort Laramie of April 29, 1868 described the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation, as commencing on the 46th parallel of north latitude to the east bank of Missouri River, south along the east bank to the Nebraska line, then west to the 104th parallel of west longitude. (15 stat. 635).
The Great Sioux Reservation comprised all of present-day South Dakota west of the Missouri River, including the sacred Black Hills and the life-giving Missouri River. Under article 11 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the Great Sioux Nation retained off-reservation hunting rights to a much larger area, south to the Republican and Platte Rivers, and east to the Big Horn Mountains.  Under article 12, no cession of land would be valid unless approved by three-fourths of the adult males. Nevertheless, the Congress unilaterally passed the Act of February 28, 1877 (19 stat. 254), removing the Sacred Black Hills from the Great Sioux Reservation.  The United States never obtained the consent of three-fourths of the Sioux, as required in article 12 of the 1868 Treaty. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that "A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history."  United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371, 388 (1980).
The Standing Rock Agency was established at Fort Yates in 1873. The Executive Order of March 16, 1875 extended the Reservation's northern boundary to the Cannon Ball River.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stands by its right to self-government as a sovereign nation, which includes taking a government-to-government stance with the states and federal government entities. Having signed treaties as equals with the United States Government in 1851 and in 1868, which established the original boundaries of the Great Sioux Nation. The tribe staunchly asserts these treaty rights to remain steadfast and just as applicable today as on the day they were made.
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was greatly reduced through the Act of March 2, 1889, also known as the Dawes Act and the Allotment Act. This opened up the reservations throughout the United States to settlement by non-Indian entities, thus creating checker-boarded land ownership within the Standing Rock Reservation. The tribe maintains jurisdiction on all reservation lands, including rights-of-way, waterways, and streams running through the reservation; this in turn leads to on-going jurisdictional disputes in criminal and civil court. Recent cases such as Nevada vs Hicks have contributed to the contentious issues in this iron triangle between the Federal, State, and Tribal governments.
I really don't blame these people for being pissed. If I have to make a choice between a reservation with 79% unemployment getting their only source of water jeopardized and a bunch of fossil fuelers getting rich, the answer is pretty clear.

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