pipeline protest

The Standing Rock Pipeline Protest

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Stand for tribe

As someone who considers herself an ally to indigenous people, I was elated at the chance to take actions to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I have written and called the White House, written to Energy Transfer Partners and more. I encourage readers to do the same.

I organized a protest, too, but I was the only one who signed up to showed up. I proudly represented myself as an “army of one.”
On Facebook and in the physical world, I have noticed a lot of support, but also a lot of silence from non-native people on this issue. Perhaps others have not been waiting, like I have been waiting, to take a stand in an indigenous-led movement.

Let me take you back to 1863, when the United States started laying the railroad. Back then, the United States looked different than it looks now, and many Native Americans opposed the railroad through their lands. The railroad destroyed their way of life, and land was taken from them for the public gain of Americans.

I don’t want the issue of pipelines to become another tragedy in a series of tragedies in Native American history. We may love our railroad now, but Native nations, which are sovereign nations, had to adapt, like they always do. We cannot keep asking them to adapt to our desires — especially now, when their water, and the water of millions of people downstream, is at stake.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has made it very clear that they oppose the pipeline. They have the backing of some 200 other tribal nations at this time. No means no, and we should respect their wishes.

I encourage everyone to take a stand with Standing Rock today. You’ll be proud you did.

Jennifer Lawson

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