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Disregard for the indigenous

By John Sosnowski
February 9, 2017

To the Editor:

The Eagle Eye’s December 1 article “Protests on North Dakota Pipe Line Continue” helps shed light on an ongoing line of injustices against both minority groups and the environment. The Dakota Access pipeline stands to not only destroy land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but also contaminate water supplies which are crucial to Standing Rock citizens’ well-being. However, the injustice which stands to take place is unsurprising.

United States history has shown an ongoing disregard for indigenous populations. Westward expansion of United States settlement repeatedly led to military action against and forced removal of Native Americans, such as the action brought forth by the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the offensives against Native populations throughout the 19th Century. The routing of the pipeline through Standing Rock Sioux land represents a continuation of the disregard for Native Americans in the name of the majority’s interests. Note that ABC News has reported that the pipeline route through Standing Rock land was chosen after a route upriver from Bismarck, North Dakota (which was over 92% white according to the 2010 Census.) The Rev. Jesse Jackson has called the Dakota Access project “the ripest case of environmental racism I’ve seen in a long time.”

Since the Eagle Eye story was published, the Standing Rock Sioux announced via Facebook that they plan to march in Washington, DC. on March 10. Hopefully this sends a message to the federal government about the injustice of the Dakota Access project.

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