–ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION–
Here’s a short description, if you’re not familiar with what’s going on at Standing Rock:
The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the traditional and treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Nation territory. The Pipeline violates the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and 1851 signed by the United States, as well as recent United States environmental regulations. The potentially 1,200-mile pipeline presents the same environmental and human dangers as the Keystone XL pipeline, and would transport hydraulically fractured (fracked) crude oil from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota to connect with existing pipelines in Illinois. While the pipeline was originally planned upriver from the predominantly white border town of Bismarck, North Dakota, the new route passes immediately above the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, crossing Lake Oahe, tributaries of Lake Sakakawea, the Missouri River twice, and the Mississippi River once. There are several camps of Water Protectors, who have been in place for several months and at various times the population of the camps has swelled above 10,000 people. More than 300 Native nations have sent representatives or have supported these actions in other ways.
Here is a statement from the “Veterans Stand with Standing Rock Operations Order”:
“In response to the assertion of treaty rights, citizen rights, tribal rights, and protection of the most valuable of resources, water, the Sioux tribes and allied comrades, are under sustained assault by agents of and working for private interests under the color of law. First Americans have served in the United States Military, defending the soil of our homelands, at a greater percentage than any other group of Americans. There is no other people more deserving of veteran support and this situation encapsulates whether we are called heroes for violence and cashing paychecks or for justice and morality…. Our mission is to prevent progress on the Dakota Access Pipeline and draw national attention to the human rights warriors of the Sioux tribes regarding the United States lack of treaty enforcement.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Standing Rock Sioux/Dakota Access Pipeline situation, this is a good place to start: https://nycstandswithstandingrock.wordpress.com/standingrocksyllabus/