On Tuesday January 21st, 2017, our new president, Donald Trump, signed documents allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue construction. This was detrimental news to me, others I know, and those still protesting at Standing Rock. Although a pipeline being built may not seem like such a crucial thing among all the other things we have going on in our world, this pipeline comes with many strings attached.
First, this pipeline is harmful to the environment. The construction and completion of this pipeline, sending crude oil through it, will contaminate clean ground water. This ground water is the water the Sioux tribe, along with the other Americans who live in this area, use in their everyday lives. Secondly, the pipeline breaks the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and 1851 which was signed by the United States to help protect the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and territory. The pipeline also threatens traditional and treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Nation territory. Now if you ask me, these two things alone are enough to stop this process but clearly the United States does not care about going against our word since we think it’s all right to break a treaty we wrote and signed. If going back on our word isn’t enough to stop this monstrous pipeline, taking away someone’s right to clean drinking water should put a halt to this process, but again, no. I just want to know where the morals of the United States stand because to me, I see multiple things wrong with the entirety of this situation and it’s hard for me to understand how anyone can see this as fair.
On top of all the broken promises and harm being caused by this pipelines construction, the violence at Standing Rock has worsened. Although protests have been going on for quite some time and just when we think these Natives and the others there in support have had enough, well guess again. It has only gotten worse. The authorities that are supposed to be handling the protestors in a proper way to keep things calm, only make the situation more heated by their actions against the Natives. Camps are being burnt to the ground, protestors are being arrested, and some are the survivors of brutal attacks. If president Trump wanted to do something right, he should have taken further consideration into what these people are going through, the treaty being broken, and the water that will be contaminated due to the pipeline. These should have been his first priorities but clearly, he had one objective here and this is not what we wanted to see as one of the first things he did as President of the United States.