Why you should support the Standing Rock Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Freshwater is invaluable. The Native American people have been disrespected, devalued, their way of life disrupted. For the past few centuries the native people of the Americas have gone through mass genocide, oppression and slavery, and now the Standing Rock Sioux face another threat in this awful tradition.

The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Oil Pipeline stretches 1,170 miles, and the Standing Rock Sioux reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s designated path and goes under the Missouri River.  Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas’ company responsible for the project has been met with a historic unification of Native Americans and others across the country protesting this monstrosity. The oil company threatens the water supply to the tribe and sacred land, a place of cultural pride and history.

Supporting and strengthening the voice of the Standing Rock Sioux, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, was in the field capturing on video protesters being attacked and pepper sprayed. Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein has a warrant for her arrest for trespassing and spray-painting a bulldozer; Senator Bernie Sanders pledges to end the exploitation of the Native American people against the oil company and has protested outside the White House. According to The Hill, on Sept. 9, the Obama Administration had temporarily stopped this oil pipeline and would halt construction until more environmental assessments are conducted.

Native American people need our support and respect. Their concerns should be heard. We must not turn our back on them. The United States government in the past pursued an insidious agenda in which they robbed, broke treaties, and murdered innocent people.

Now Energy Transfer Partners undermines the tribe’s wellbeing. They argue that this project will bring jobs and boost the economy. However, this oil company cannot ensure that accidents and cross contamination to the water supply won’t happen. They can only disrupt the historic and spiritual value of this ancestral land to satisfy the company’s profits and investors.

For instance, Colonial Pipeline, the company responsible for a current pipeline that had a leak discovered by a mining inspector who smelled a fuel odor in Helena, Alabama, released about 6,000 to 8,000 barrels (252,000-336,000) of gasoline according to Reuters. Concern for the nearby rivers and environment immediately became an issue. According to, the U.S. Environmental Protective Agency, current sampling results indicate that the Peel Creek and the Cahaba River are currently not impacted.

Energy Transfer Partners should imagine if they were the Standing Rock Sioux- Would they want this oil pipeline? Could they risk oil in their water and have their livelihood threatened? They can’t drink oil to live, but they can drink the fresh non-contaminated water of the Missouri River.