Protecting the sacred water. Protecting the sacred land. The Standing Rock Sioux are inspiring the world with their resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. They've voiced environmental concerns. They've performed sacred rituals. They've stood in solidarity with indigenous Native Americans seeking to be heard. And, the movement keeps growing. Through prayer, meditation and peaceful demonstration, thousands of tribal members and non-native people continue to take a stand. And here’s why:
“In honor of our future generations, we fight this pipeline to protect our water, our sacred places, and all living beings.” - Oceti Sakowin Tribe
Water is Life
Gathered at Standing Rock, tribes are trying to stop a natural gas pipeline operator from demolishing what they call their sacred sites. In it’s place, an 1,172-mile oil pipeline that runs from North Dakota to Illinois, is set to be constructed. As well as their sacred land, the tribes also want to protect the Missouri River, the primary water source for the Standing Rock Reservation, from a potential pipeline leak.
Members of the tribe, whose reservation is near the project's path, believe the pipeline would affect its supply of drinking water and place downstream communities at risk of contamination from potential oil spills.
History in the Making
The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. Because, opposing Big Oil and Gas is no small thing. We need only take a look at the Peruvian Amazon oil spills to see the harsh environmental damage that could have been prevented. Since 2011, 23 ruptures in the 687-mile pipeline have occurred, when earlier this year over 3,000 barrels of oil polluted rivers and prompted an indigenous community to hold Big Oil officials hostage for aid. Let us not forget.
Why Do We Need Fossil Fuel Anyway?
Fossil fuels are used throughout the world to power everything from cars to lights in the home. But is it right to use them? Are they safe to use? Should we be trying to cut down how much we use year on year? Nowadays, there are more and more alternatives to fossil fuels, including renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, and hydro power. The most common fossil fuels are coal, natural gas and petroleum, all of which have been formed over millions of years. Now, as the populations grow, resources are running low.
Once we have used up all the fossil fuels that currently exist on this planet, we will need to find alternative ways of heating and lighting our homes as well as traveling all over the globe, anyway. So why not start now – and, let the nature flourish and grow?