In the United States, mainly in the Midwest, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and many other nonnative tribes have gathered to protest the building of the a crude oil pipeline. The tribe cites possibilities of water contamination and desecration of sacred land. In addition, they reference the 1851 treaty with the Dakota and Lakota people, using it to propel their argument that the “the pipeline [to be built] on private land” would violate the said treaty for Native Americans to use the land without disturbance.
What bothers me about this protest is future government response to this event and the pipeline’s intended usage. For years, Native Americans have been mistreated, and the government would push them westward constantly for white Americans living on the east coast to take the land and settle it. Should the company building this pipeline ignore the historical treaty and the government make exceptions for them, then this shows the nation is regressing in terms of the treatment of indigenous people, going backwards to a terrible time for Native American rights. It’s horribly upsetting to see people being oppressed in a country where emphasis is placed on respecting citizen’s rights and upholding the law.
In addition, the pipeline’s construction signifies the nation’s continued reliance fossil fuels, even as climate change is happening. While cashing in on the “570,000 barrels [of oil transported per] day“does help the corporations to grow and decrease reliance on imported oil, it doesn’t help decrease amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, contributing to rising temperatures of the planet. Instead, renewable energy sources should be considered, researched, and implemented to benefit public health and the environment.