Mar 20, 2016 - Treaty Rights and the Fight Against the Dakota Access Pipeline by Waniya Locke

We stand in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline(DAPL).  We believe that the DAPL has great potential to cause harm to the great people of this nation whose water and livelihood depends on the Missouri River.  We do not need oil to live, but we do need water, and water is a human right and not a privilege.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is projected to extend 1,134 miles and connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.  It is set to be built in May 2016, with construction beginning in the Bakken, and is supposed to be running later this year.


Proposed route of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The DAPL is designed to transport 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day along this route, and it will cross the Missouri River four times.  Everyone in this country who gets their water from the Missouri River will be affected by this pipeline.  In North Dakota alone there have been 300 oil spills in the last two years.  It is not a matter of if the pipeline will break, it’s when, and how large the spill will be when it does.

Those of us living in the Dakotas are deeply concerned about the construction of this pipeline and we feel that we have not had our needs taken into account before deciding to construct this pipeline.

The fight against Dakota Access Pipeline can only be successful if we have your voice, and the voices of as many as possible against this potentially devastating pipeline.  We have people working on the ground in reservations throughout North and South Dakota, but we need as many voices as possible.

As I listen to the lawyers, I heard it with my own ears, “Non Native groups are against it, they are filing!  But they don’t have rights like Tribes!  The best combat is Treaty Rights, Section 106, Executive Order 13007, through the tribal rights is the key!  Non Natives land owners need to stand by the tribes!” Real Advice from the lawyer fighting DAPL!

Waniya Locke is from the Ahtna Dene, Dakota, Lakota and Anishinaabe tribes. She was a LLEAP Student from Sitting Bull College and the University of South Dakota. A mother of three beautiful children, she currently resides in Porcupine SD, but is from Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. She has been studying Lakȟotiyapi for 4 years. “Language is the foundation of any people, it makes us unique and true to our Identity.”

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