The controversial construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) gained national and international attention when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers accepted an application filed by Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based developer behind the project.
The position of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is that the Dakota Access Pipeline violates Article II of the Fort Laramie Treaty, which guarantees the "undisturbed use and occupation" of reservation lands surrounding the proposed location of the pipeline. In 2015 the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, operating as a sovereign nation , passed a resolution regarding the pipeline stating that "the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a serious risk to the very survival of our Tribe and ... would destroy valuable cultural resources."
To generate momentum for their cause and demonstrate their opposition to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe organized runs, horseback rides, and marches. Many Native Nations, along with non-Native allies, celebrities, and several politicians supported the movement and travelled to join DAPL protesters at the Sacred Stone Camp on the Standing Rock Reservation. Conditions at the camp became intense. North Dakota law enforcement officials and private guards hired by Energy Transfer Partners clashed with protestors, sometimes violently, and made hundreds of arrests.
Identify the stakeholders on either side and summarize their arguments.
Analyze the sources by using evidence to compare and contrast the arguments behind each perspective.
Using evidence, complete an analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline, focus specifically on who will benefit and who will suffer as a result of the pipeline.
What statement do you find more convincing? Use evidence from the source(s) to support your conclusion.
Dear Assistant Secretary Darcy & The Army Corps of Engineers,
I am writing this letter to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. My great grandparents are originally from Cannon Ball, North Dakota where the pipeline will cross the Missouri River. They lived along the Missouri River all their life. They raised gardens, chickens and horses. I want to be the voice for my great grandparents and my community and ask you to stop the building of the Dakota Access pipeline. If the pipeline breaks the oil will spill on the ground and into the water. Grass, crops, trees and animals will not be able to grow and live because of the oil. People will not be able to drink from the river or use the water. The time and the cost to clean up oil spills will take years and probably millions of dollars. Water to Native American people is the first medicine. Mni Wiconi: water is life.
SAY NO TO THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE AND SIGN OUR PETITION.
Anna Lee, "Mni Wiconi," Rezpect Our Water, April 2016
Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter were critical to generating support for the movement. Youth groups organized petitions and wrote letters to their government leaders to initiate change.
What opportunities and challenges come with using social media as a platform for taking action?
How might personal connections to place, family, and community inspire an individual to take informed action?