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Lakota Protests KXL Pipeline – Part 1

April 1, 2014

After having written my paper for Sicangu Community Histories, posted previously in several parts, I have been pondering a lot of the information I have researched and written. Given the events (over the last year) that have appeared in the news regarding the KXL Pipeline, and discussions about the effects the pipeline has made on the land/water/air/people, I revisited my thoughts about Treaties.

laramie_treaty_1868  Map

Ironically, the issue of Treaty Rights was brought up in conversation recently.  The maps of the states in which the pipeline runs shows areas that are next to reservations that are under treaty.  KXL has used Imminent Domain as its basic “calling card” to ravish reservation borderlands (against Treaties) and ranches from Montana to Nebraska, without compensation or “Due Process”.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought that was a term used by the United States, and what is a corporation from Canada doing using it? In Nebraska, the KXL people just came and began laying down pipes on ranches, without saying a thing about it to the owners of those ranches.  This has been the modus operandi from day #1.  Those ranchers fought against the KXL Pipeline and won the case!

A secondary issue is that the area in which the KXL Pipeline is scheduled to be laid, near the Rosebud Reservation, is Tribal land and sacred.  It falls under Treaty Rights. This is a huge issue for the Lakota Nations, The Oceti Sakowin.

In regards to the oil spills that have already occurred in North Dakota, and the oil spill in Arkansas from another pipeline that is in the works, the environmental impact alone could create contamination of not just land/air but also the aquifer that supplies the majority of the mid-western area with its water. This body of water, to the Lakota People, is sacred and they feel a strong need to protect its purity.

Northern Great Plains Aquifer system

Northern Great Plains Aquifer system

The third issue to land-grabbing is the “man camps” that bring violence, and sexual assaults to a whole new level. The proposed pipeline will run next to three reservations in South Dakota alone. These camps have wrecked havoc in Canada and North Dakota already.

But, this is not just a Lakota issue. This pipeline will affect everyone in northern continent. It will affect my own children and grandchildren!





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