Tribal rights on Native American lands has been one hot issue that has engulfed all Tribes with in the USA since lands were settled by white farmers well over 200 years ago. The first major negotiation of easement rights through Reservations were in 1899, when the railroad companies were granted (through Congress) an easement to build a line through Reservation Lands. Prior to this time all easement negotiations were obtained through the Tribe itself, or the individual. Then in 1899, Congress ratified this agreement and gave the Secretary of Interior the right to grant easements through Reservation lands for the construction of ……oil/ gas pipelines….(Colorado State 2013).
So how has this effected Reservation life today? Well, today an XL oil pipeline has been proposed to be erected from the Canadian Tar Sands in Alberta (“dirty oil”), running through the heart of the US to Texas to be refined.
Some of this pipeline has already been started and TransCanada, the company responsible for the proposed $7billion project, stated that none of the Keystone XL pipeline would cross any Reservation or Tribe Trust Lands (Rapid City Journal. March 2014).
However, it has been brought to light that part of the pipeline will be erected through the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This is where a protest is currently being held by a number of Sioux Bands, including my own tribe, the Oglala Sioux.
Mr Vic Camp, an advocate for Native Rights, states, “We say no to all mining and drilling for oil and any other mineral right now that can contaminate the water” (Rapid City Journal March 2014).
This issue not only effects the Reservation and the people of the Sioux Tribe, but also America as a whole. Our modern day life has brought us many luxuries such as electricity, cell phones and motor vehicles, but at what cost? With such advancements, can other methods, more cleaner and environmentally friendly processes be adopted?
Thank you so much for your time
From the Team at Hanblechia Designs – Be Part of the Legend.