This past week, thousands of Native Americans from over one hundred tribes have camped out at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Natives are protesting plans for an oil pipeline in which they say would contaminate the reservation’s water.
“The U.S. government is wiping out our most important cultural and spiritual areas.”
On Twitter, the hashtag #NODAPL has gone viral, and many people have been showing their support for the Native protesters, who call themselves “protectors” because they are protecting their land.
Black Lives Matter activists have also traveled to North Dakota to be in solidarity with Indigenous protesters. The Native struggle is very similar to the Black struggle. As previously mentioned, if the pipelines are built, they will infect the water, much like how Flint’s water has lead in it.
“These sites must be protected, or our world will end, it is that simple. Our young people have a right to know who they are. They have a right to language, to culture, to tradition. The way they learn these things is through connection to our lands and our history.”
Violence has also erupted at the site of the protests, as the drill company has employed private contractors who have unleashed dogs on the protectors.
Unfortunately, violence towards Native communities is nothing new. In 1958, land was taken from the tribe without their consent. Today, the government has not consulted with the tribe despite President Obama saying that his “administration is determined to partner with tribes.”
PushBlack is in solidarity with the Indigenous activists fighting against the pipeline.