Another Native American’s take on Standing Rock and the Dakota Pipeline

As I have said before, too many of those who favor the Dakota Pipeline fail to acknowledge the sincere and deeply held beliefs of Native Americans who oppose the project.  This article/post by Bronson Koenig, best known for playing basketball for the nationally ranked University of Wisconsin, offers another example of the too oft ignored viewpoints of native people.  

My frustration is not that someone supports the pipeline, although I oppose it on a number of grounds.  Afterall, people can support it for all sorts of reasons including the need for jobs, energy, and the very small likelihood that there would be leaks that could affect tribal water.  But, none of those reasons hit my point, and that point being that too many supporters of the Pipeline paint this picture of those who oppose it as agitators, outside paid protestors, or worse.  What these Dakota supporters do not seem to do is seriously listen to the deeply held beliefs of native people who do not want the pipeline, people  who honestly feel betrayed.  What is it about some people that makes them shut down their ears, to not want to even listen to other viewpoints, to demonize and/or discount the honest voices of Native Americans?  You would think we would know better, that we know enough about our history to at least listen.

Again, one can still support the pipeline and not agree with Bronson Koenig and others who oppose it, but to do so without giving Native American viewpoints any credence, to paint all protesters with a broad brush, and to ignore the sincere beliefs of native people?  It is just so close minded.  Shame on those who do it.   And I don’t think I’m wrong about that.

One thought on “Another Native American’s take on Standing Rock and the Dakota Pipeline

  1. You are not wrong, but the point you are making is true generally regarding any issue with multiple viewpoints. Of course reasonable minded people should consider all positions pro and con before jumping to conclusions. Regarding this pipe line, there is a lot a fracking going in in the Dakotas with a need to deliver that shale oil to refineries. My father worked for Texaco for 40 years, and I know a little about the oil industry. Suffice it to say that transporting millions and millions of gallons of highly flammable oil by truck on our nations highways is definitely not the preferred means of delivery. There will be accidents. There will be deaths. Rail isn’t much better. A pipeline is obviously safe and effective, and advances in technology today allow leak detection monitoring through sensors embedded in the pipes for real-time monitoring. If oil is going to continue being produced in the Dakotas, in my view either a pipeline to refineries is necessary or Chevron/Shell/ Exxon whoever needs to build a refinery in close proximity. But I understand and appreciate the viewpoint and concerns of the dissenters. And especially the Native American voice. For that reason alone if there is going to be a pipeline its route should avoid tribal lands, if possible. A new pipeline, however, would be very safe and equipped with high-tech advanced leak detection technology and the benefits outweigh the risks it seems to me.


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