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Monday, November 21, 2016

Standing Rock Protests: Why?

I woke up to the news that tear gas, mace, and potential projectiles were being shot into the crowd of peaceful demonstrators at Standing Rock. I paid particular attention since my son traveled out there to join in the peaceful protest and to stand in solidarity with our Native people as they work to protect their lands.

This is what I can't understand. As it is, Native peoples were pushed off their lands in the past. Then through treaties and agreements, they were given control of their own lands. Now they want to put a pipeline through their lands, and they don't want it. Seems to me to be a no brainer--it's their land, they don't want it, so find another way.

When I visited South Dakota a few years ago, it was so clear that in the past Native people were pushed off the better lands into lands less fertile and easy to live on. It was also clear that life isn't easy on the reservations, but that Native peoples had created strong culture. I don't know why, in this day and age, we would even attempt to take their lands again. Help me to understand why these protests are happening, and why the Native peoples can't have control of their own lands.