How do we keep billionaires from cheating North Dakotans? Native America has the answers by Allison RenvilleTweet
With circumstances in North Dakota changing every day, what could possibly be next in the ever changing use of Tribal Sovereignty & the increasing revolution lead by America’s First People.
My how things can change in such a short time, for those of you who are just tuning in let’s recap; last month during the Democratic National Convention Turtle Mountain Tribal Judge Andy Laverdure and fellow Bernie Delegate and I had the chance to speak to the sitting Senator from North Dakota. Unbeknownst to her we had the intention of confronting her about the Dakota Access Pipeline and her stance as a supporter. A group of youth had just gotten to the DC area to demand the Presidents ear, and the US. Army Corps of Engineers were just about to grant a permit for the construction the next day.
Senator Heitkamp expressing support for Dakota Access Pipeline
As some may have seen on our recent share of the video clip of this conversation, I’m sure your well aware of the Senators argumentative and defensive attitude in support of the pipeline. Although we were unable to change her stance, we were able to expose her bias and an admission of ties to the Three Affiliated Tribe of ND. Her automatic response in our opinion was what politicians use any other time they get pressed against a wall, “well (insert tribal nation) supports me”. A response so predictable at this point we expected her to say so, what I hadn’t seen coming was her inability to keep herself in check as she continued in one breath to say; “not everyone in Indian Country feels this pipeline is a bad thing.”.
With the obvious lack of tight and efficient regulations on government to government consultations. Its recent controversial exposure with its missed call and message left tactics used with Standing Rock being considered consultation. We are now able to demand enforcement of federal regulations that require full on consultation with every tribe across Indian country on every issue and development effecting every aspect of the 568 tribe’s life and well-being. This all easily pertains to land issues, gaming, mineral rights, water and air. The government has been leaving us out of the conversation and decided for us repeatedly, just as any overtly strict parent does in any dysfunctional family.
Regulations now being neglected and worked around by making the slightest contact as possible, and big oil just ignoring procedural due process, being exposed with the situation in Standing Rock and now we know it was also done to the MHA Nation on their reservation as well. There has to be something done to prevent it from continuing to happen so carelessly with so much disregard. But, I will tell you what we don’t need, and that is this going in front of Congress; where they could potentially jar our sovereignty further by enforcing amendments to law and setting precedent for further dictation of tribal affairs. We definitely need to continue this unity and prevent our tribes from being taken advantage of for a per-cap.
Thru the interior, the Army Corps of Engineers, and all federal entities, wanting to work with and develop on or with tribes need to respect and abide by these strict federal regulations; just as anyone else does nationally when dealing with federal dollars. If and when these thorough consultations are enforced and taking place, we wouldn’t have to worry about tribes being invited to the table without others in the area by changing the inclusion of tribes mediated to a 300-mile radius of sites and other projects. With transparent dialogue. Simply because every tribal leader should have the right to defend their people and the further purchase of our sovereignty by big billionaires.
So back to the incident in Philadelphia, Senator Heitkamp as you know quickly defended her role in all of this. Although it is well known that she lives in central North Dakota, it’s also known that she owns land in the Bakken. Why is one question, but that right now can be alluded to her interest in the business to begin with. Rather bring up the obvious, I’d like to address her inability to stand behind the states native population. Our opposition in the Dakotas is well known amongst each other, but now we are able to dispute her claim of there being “some in Indian country” who think this pipeline is a good thing.
With over 180 tribes sending and hand delivering letters as well as resolutions of support, we are left to ask if Ms. Heitkamp is capable of doing the right thing. During her election she felt it important to pander too and strongly deliver the native vote, even attributed it as what won her the seat. With MHA now standing in solidarity and enforcing their own sovereignty with the recent cease and desist order against Paradigm, is it now time to allow the Senator redemption. Or, is it too little too late in her allowance of such disrespect at the state level including everyone from the Morton County Sheriff to the Governor’s office.
Let’s continue to stand in prayer, stay positive and show our strength and ability to adapt to situations that are meant to further our complacency. We have awakened and are now fully aware of a government who has barely come out of its haze of oppressive behavior. We have stirred the coals of a fire they have never been able to smoulder, in our beliefs we pray for everyone; even those who have done us wrong. Our prayers have included these local, state and national officials as we hope for an awakening within them as well. So as you sit back in your chair and think about this, let’s remember our prophecy and the roles we play; including yours Ms. Heitkamp. Do you want to be in the house looking out onto the destruction of nation, or the right side of history?
By Allison Renville