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Army Corp of Engineers Approve the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

By Lisa DeVille (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation)   Mandaree, ND

“Another act of oppression by the government.  When the pipeline breaks, ALL of our water will be contaminated.  Pipelines contain radioactive material than accumulates and becomes even more dangerous.  The Army Corp of Engineers disregarding the pleas of thousands of people shows their interest is in the wellbeing of industry.  This pipeline could have been rerouted but as usual, communities of people of color are always first for sacrifice.”  Lisa DeVille

We at Fort Berthold have never supported this pipeline, but our tribal administration passed the right of way without consulting the people who will be impacted.  The Lakota bands have joined together and have publicly opposed the DAPL and met the Army Corp to tell them to stop this pipeline.

Native communities should always be included in environmental decisions because we have been on this land for centuries. We have many significant sites scattered across this country. The DAPL crossing near Standing Rock Reservation is a historically and culturally significant site for the Lakota as well as the Mandan, Hidatsa, ad Arikara Nation. There was a village of 2000 people that settled near that right of way. These companies don’t care that these places have spiritual and cultural meaning to us.

This is how close DAPL will be to Mandaree community; DAPL would be close to Mandaree, the pipeline will start in Stanley and go to the western part of ND where it will cross a tributary of Lake Sakakawea near Trenton. It will run south and meet 1 of 5 oil terminals at Johnson’s Corner and pass by Mandaree by less than 10 miles. The pipeline will also cross the Little Missouri River, which feeds into another tributary of Lake Sakakawea. This matters because Lake Sakakawea is Fort Berthold’s only source of clean water. The pipeline will also cross Lake Oahe, which is also a part of Missouri River. The Lake Oahe crossing is located 500 feet north of the Standing Rock Nation’s border.

The concerns about DAPL are that it crosses the only water we have access to in ND. The company says that it will use the latest technology, yet monitors will be located in Texas. Leaving an unnecessary length of time for emergency responders to act.

This pipeline will definitely impact our water, with pipelines it’s not if but when. We have seen that ALL pipelines break. The Keystone 1 ruptured in SD and Crestwood pipeline north of Mandaree, ND both only a few years old.

Native American and other ethnic communities have always been the first target of industrialization. We organize and bring people together to stand against the environmental genocide. Pipelines, waste dumps, transfer stations, and other industrialized zones have always targeted poor areas or where there’s a high level of poverty.

Native American communities need to educate yourself. Learn what is going into your water, land, and air. Find other people that are willing to stand up with you to protect our Earth.  Since the beginning of time Native Americans were taught to protect Mother Earth.