As far as I can figure out, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe initiated the months-long, recently-ended, Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests with the assistance of then-President Barack Obama.
Obviously, the protest failed to stop the DAPL. But the protesters did more than waste their time. They also blocked the main road to the tribe’s casino, resulting in a catastrophic drop in casino revenues.
Since the casino provides most of the jobs and money for social programs, the shortfall is going to harm the already impoverished community.
Allegedly, the tribe’s concern was that the DAPL would pose a threat to their water supply and violated sacred tribal lands. But the environmental impact study showed the DAPL would not threaten tribal water.
However, pollution from all the protesters’ garbage and poo poses a real threat to local water quality once this spring’s rain hits.
Another alleged concern was that the DAPL violated “sacred” tribal land. But the DAPL isn’t going over any tribal land. Plus, the Standing Rock Sioux have their own oil wells with their own pipelines on the reservation, so hello.
A commenter posted this at the site listed below: “This facile criticism of the Standing Rock protest ignores the realities of life on the res. It’s not all economics, power and influence. There is a vast cultural tradition at play, and 500+ years of genocide and ecoside [sic] by invading Europeans. Think what it would be like if you [sic] favorite church or cathedral was overrun by industrial equipment and excavated for a pipeline carrying toxic liquids.”
The gist of the various replies is that no buildings were overrun by the pipeline. Nor will the pipeline pass over any land owned by the tribe. Plus, the Standing Rock Sioux weren’t in the area 500+ years ago. They arrived in the 1800s and stole the land they are now on from the Arikara and Hidatsa tribes.