To more accurately view the current struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribes against the Dakota Access Pipeline we must first look into the rich history of Native American civilization. Today’s images of Lakota warriors on horseback in traditional clothing charging a line of law enforcement officers are reminiscent of historical Native American claims to the land of the Lakota People.
Think of your land being invaded; your sacred ancestral grounds ruined; your identity ravaged and abused. The Lakota People and other tribes of the Sioux Nation stand in fighting the invasion of their lands by the Dakota Access Pipeline. To see Standing Rock as a home to be respected is to stand with those who struggle to maintain their tribal lands.
Native American tribes throughout the United States and the world have a long and distinguished history of quietly conducting successful movements that oppose the extraction of natural resources. Standing Rock is but the latest chapter in the long story of indigenous tribes standing for their sovereignty while resisting centuries of elimination, subjugation, and dispossession imposed by territorial accumulation driven by greed.
Disrespect and disregard for indigenous territories are as historical as the United States itself. Since 1968 the American Indian Movement (AIM) has continuously called on the US government to honor treaties signed during the initial conquests of Native American tribes. Active dissent from tribes in response to the denial of treaty agreements has consistently been met with militarized resistance, rather than negotiation.
The struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline stands in the foreground against the backdrop of historical disregard for tribal treaty rights and human rights. In standing against the pipeline the Standing Rock Sioux are demanding that the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie be honored and that their land and water be protected.
The people of Standing Rock have endured centuries of oppressive aggression. Their roots in Lakota land and history ground them in strength, legacy, obligation, and determination to preserve what defines their existence as a people.
As a civic-minded, progressive group that cares about community action, El Cerrito Progressives stand with the people of Standing Rock in their effort to preserve ownership of their land.
To find out how you can stand with Standing Rock, click here: