The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe became a reservation in 1889, and was defined by the Act of March 2, 1889 including all right-of-way, waterways, watercourses and streams running through any part of the reservation and to such others lands as may hereafter be added to the reservation under the law of the United States.
Anyone who reads the news will know that there is currently a massive protest going on against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which would cross under the Missouri River a few hundred feet upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
The Sacred Stone camp was founded so that the tribe’s water protectors could concentrate on protecting clean water. The Dakota Access Pipeline is an 1825 km long underground U.S. oil pipeline project to transport light, sweet crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois, traveling through 50 counties in 4 states.
The pipeline will transport approximately 470,000 barrels per day with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more.
The reasoning that the Standing Rock Sioux are protesting the route of the pipeline is because the oil company will have to dig the pipeline under the Missouri River just upstream of the reservation and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s drinking water supply. An oil spill at this site would constitute an existential threat to the Tribe’s culture and way of life, and would pollute the drinking water.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit on July 27, 2016, against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for violating the National Historic Preservation Act and other laws, after the agency issued final permits for the pipeline, citing the Corps’ effective dismissal of the Tribe’s concerns for the pipeline’s impacts to sacred sites and culturally important landscapes.
While the Corp and others say that the pipeline is safe, there have been previous oil spills that have done grave damage, such as the pipeline spill in 2010 which poured 1,000,000 gallons of toxic bitumen crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and the January of 2015 Bakken crude oil spill that spewed in excess of 50,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana.
Citizens of the world need to stand up against massive oil companies as a collective, or we may all find ourselves in dire straits when we do not have potable drinking water and our rivers and lakes are polluted with oil, causing marine life to die off and cropland to be useless to plant on. Water is life, and we need to protect it, which is why millions of individuals from all across the globe are standing with the Standing Rock Sioux.
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