VSAR 440- Lecture- North and South Dakota Access Pipeline-Sacred Water: Standing Rock- RISE

rocha_4march17_bontantic-garden-200001Today in class we went to a lecture talking about what is happening in North and South Dakota with the pipelines. After a 10 min lecture, the people showed us a film/documentary called RISE. Which talks about the Dakota Access Pipeline and what is happening, what is going on in North and South Dakota. And what is being done about this issue. I can honestly say though bad things and hideous crimes happen everyday and it truly saddens me, I am not always aware of the destruction and injustice that is happening in america. I found myself to be so moved emotionally and mentally. I was honestly shocked by film but not surprised of the disrespect the and racism that was happening. I believe that we all have something we at one point will stand up for and imagine when others just turn their backs on you, no support or justice is given for all the pain and wrong that has been done. In this film I found out about so much, from the story Ladonna told “A long time ago, they told us this story that there will be this big snake that comes. And when the black snake comes, the world will end. One hundred years ago, they said that happens, we have to stand up, we have to stop the black snake” I found that this story spoke volumes because the”big black snake” to me is a metaphor for great evil that man kind will cause and the destruction it will bring and when that happens we the human race must stand and do what is right, not what is easy.

Sarain who is the narrator for the film RISE talks about how people are gathering at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, thousands have united and are now camping along the Missouri River as to show their support against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Some facts this film talked about were if the Pipeline is approved than many rivers will be contaminated, which will effect not only  standing rock but as well as the other cities, tribes, and towns that get their water from rivers, streams around them.

The person who started all this and made others aware was 24 year old Bobbie Jean Three Legs. She talks about how she has a daughter and how shes doing this for her because what will happen if she cant give her water or bath her, and as a mother that scares her. Later on Bobbie goes on to talk about her career choice is criminal justice, how she wanted to have another way to fight back the system, to support and protect her people from those around them.  As a child Bobbie was molested, so she became weary and was not able to trust. She does not want her daughter to ever go through that kind of pain and lost.

Sarain goes into the history of boarding schools and how during the 1870’s ” the american government separated thousands of Indigenous children from their families and forced them into boarding schools.” The government would make it seem like they were doing these people a favor something they should be greatful for (how can anyone be greatful to people who stole them away from their family, robbed them of their youth and childhood) in order to clean them up, cloth them, and educate them into “civilization”. These children may have had it “good” but they suffered abuse, mentally, physically and emotionally, as well as sexually. So these so called government officials that were suppose to help these children, give them a new “better life” protect them. Were the ones that caused these children extreme trauma that leave to drug use and alcoholism.

Some youth group from Fort Berthold Reservation which is about 3 hours away from the standing rock camp have come to visit and show their support. They talk about their experiences from their home, how they know the damage it will bring standing rock if this pipeline gets approved. Where these young women are from their are oil pipelines and all these male workers, it is very dangerous for these young women to even leave their homes, they dont feel safe. The girls go on to say, ” You can just get picked up off the sidewalk”, “someone could steal you”, “You can get raped, you can get killed”, “or sold”, “sold to other men”. Sarain states, “The oil boom in North Dakota has brought an influx of money to the region, but with it has come drugs, crime, and sex trafficking. In the community of Fort Berthold, there has been a 168% increase in violent assaults against women. Man camps, the temporary lodgings set up to house oil workers, has put women’s lives at risk, and tribal police officers can do little to stop it. The United States Supreme Court stripped tribes of the right to arrest non-Natives who commit crimes on reservation land, sending a strong message that on Indian land, criminals can get away with almost anything.” This just makes me sick. There was a time where tribes and the government came together to form treaties, so that there may be peace but since than the government has broken the treaties by killing, stealing, and taking the natives lands.

Sadly in July 2016 the US Army Corps of Engineers granted the final permits and approval to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  But Ladonna who is the found of standing rock camp, has not given up and continues to support her people and asks others to join in and help each other out.

Overall I found myself feeling so many different emotions, I can say that this film really had an impact on me and I hope others get a chance to see this film because it is a real eye opening to those who arent aware of these kinds of issues.



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