There comes a time when history begins to repeat itself. The Indigenous occupation around the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation is such a time. While there are many differences between the occupation of Wounded Knee in the early 1970s and the Sacred Stone encampment, there are many common threads. Both occupations involved the theft of Native rights by corrupt officials, and both resulted in an unnecessary use of police force and infiltrators to threaten protesters. The more recent occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by white militants stands in dark contrast to the two Native movements, showing the clear bias that the American justice system has against Native people. Combined, all three events provide lessons for today.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, DAP and the Lack of Environmental Review
The Standing Rock protests are targeted toward the unconscionable acts by the Dakota Access Pipeline company to force an oil pipeline through aboriginal lands without tribal consultation or consent, risking the Tribe’s irreplaceable supply of drinking water, and damaging important cultural resources. At issue is the practice of industry colluding with corrupt government officials in Congress and federal agencies to streamline the process required to permit the siting of oil and gas pipelines by exempting approvals from all environmental review.