Since Europeans stepped foot on the new land of America, there have been countless conflicts between them and the natives who had inhabited the land for decades prior to their arrival. Governments constantly taking their land and rights, battles erupting over centuries that ended in bloodshed, and natives being forced to assimilate to the new culture of the Europeans that now dominated what was once their home.
Now this conflict has arisen again with the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline that is cutting through Native American land that goes across the Missouri River. The native Sioux tribe that lives in the area have risen up in protest against this construction and sued the federal regulators as they felt they were not consulted about the construction. Currently they’re trying to peacefully protest by camping out on the land to prevent any more work on the pipeline.
The pipeline stretches 1,172 miles through the states of North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. The government has claimed that this pipeline will help create more jobs and the economy as a whole as it will make bringing oil over to America cheaper and less dependent on other countries. But the tribe fears it will impact their native and sacred land while also contaminating drinking water. With more than 200 tribes standing up to help protect the Sioux’s land, there is strong competition on either side.
Over the months that the protests have gone on, the protesters have been attacked with pepper spray and dogs from the private security after the company bulldozed sacred land and destroyed it completely. The work has resumed around the area of natives and protesters overall and multiple celebrities have taken a stand, demanding that they stop construction of the pipeline and keep it off of native land.
As of now, the pipeline is still being worked on and the protesters are still hoping for some way of winning in their case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or to have the government stop or delay construction. Their last hope is that they end up reconstructing it around their land to keep it off of their territory and to keep their area safe from possible environmental harm. For now, all the protesters are remaining strong and standing their ground on the territory in hopes that remaining peaceful will earn them a win in the end.