Native American protesters confront pipeline workers in North Dakota.
Protesters move to confront bulldozers that began digging on land held sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux.

By now, you've probably heard about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. They have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which is planned to run from the Bakken oil fields in Canada through the Dakotas and into Illinois. So why the protest? In addition to environmental concerns, the pipeline apparently infringes upon land that the tribe holds sacred. To make matters worse, the pipeline was originally supposed to cross the Missouri River near the major town of Bismarck. However, after concerns about a potential oil spill contaminating the water there, the crossing was moved downriver and now sits adjacent to the Standing Rock Reservation.

Violent Clashes

The tribe has been joined by representatives from many other native tribes as well as environmental activists. Their protests began peacefully, but tensions boiled over when it was discovered that construction workers had performed unauthorized digging causing damage to important tribal burial and cultural sites. The company in charge of the project, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), called in private security officers to restrain the protestors. The two groups clashed, and the story quickly made national headlines after security officers attacked the protestors with pepper spray and guard dogs.

The Standing Rock tribe has also been fighting the pipeline in court, although seemingly to no avail. Most thought construction would continue unabated. Then, in a stunning turn of events last week, the U.S. Justice Department put a temporary halt on the project. By intervening, the federal government has taken the protestors' side in this controversial battle. They are urging ETP to reroute the pipeline away from native land. However, the issue is far from resolved. Protestors continue to get arrested daily, and it's yet to be seen if the company will agree to reroute the pipeline.

Pipeline Supporters

Despite the tribe's concerns, there are many people in favor of the pipeline who argue that its construction is for the greater good. While renewable energy sources are growing, they point out, we are still highly reliant on fossil fuels. They insist the new source of oil will be good for the economy as a whole. And as things stand today, transporting oil by pipeline is still safer much than shipping it by truck. Finally, according to supporters, enough has already been done to address the tribe's concerns the Army Corps of Engineers held 389 meetings about the project prior to construction, and the pipeline has already been rerouted numerous times to circumvent important cultural sites.


While it's true the pipeline has already been rerouted, the coalition group protesting the project presents a good case. First, they say, we need to ditch fossil fuels and soon if we hope to save the climate from destruction. On a local level, although the pipeline does not technically run on tribal land, it's close enough to seriously contaminate the water should an accident occur. The construction is also happening on land that the Standing Rock Sioux once owned before the federal government took it from them back in the 1800s. Given this troublesome history, Tribe Chairman David Archambault was pleasantly surprised to see the government intervene, if only temporarily. After a stressful couple of weeks, he encouraged protesters to remain peaceful:

"Any act of violence hurts our cause and is not welcome here We invite all supporters to join us in prayer that, ultimately, the right decision the moral decision is made to protect our people, our sacred places, our land and our resources."

Moving Forward

As the situation in North Dakota continues to develop, it's unclear what the final outcome will be. For now, we are left with the powerful images of activists standing in front of giant bulldozers and being attacked by dogs.

The contrast is strong: a historic Native American cultural site with a massive oil pipeline running through it. Native American belief systems revolve around living in harmony with the planet and the environment. Clearly, extracting and transporting fossil fuels to be burned at their expense is antithetical to this notion.

Parting QuestionsA pair of hands holding the earth

This whole ordeal raises some deep and spiritual questions: what is our purpose here on Earth? Are we here to advance the human race, or to be caretakers of this planet? That is to say - is Earth beholden to us, or are we beholden to Earth?

The Standing Rock Sioux, along with many others, believe that we are caretakers. That we are responsible for the health of the planet and all the living things which call it home. By repeatedly bowing to economic interests at the expense of the environment, we may be creating a bleak future for those to come. Lower gas prices are temporary, but environmental damage is often permanent. We'd like to hear your thoughts. Which side are you on? Should we stay the course, or change our ways?


  1. Minister Norman's Avatar Minister Norman

    Once again "Sovereign" Native American Lands, are anything but Sovereign... How many Treaties and agreements will be broken before we all realize the greed-based nature of our government policy... And this one in particular doesn't even help Americans, native or otherwise, but instead is all about rich powerful oil interests ONLY. However you stand know this, this is NOT about American Oil Independence or even American interests, but instead is all about Globalist, multinational GREED!

    1. Pastor Xal's Avatar Pastor Xal

      Native Americans are but one of the many indigenous peoples that the United States either alone or hiding behind the corporate disguise of other nations) has taken, taken & taken, while giving back insistence for adherence to a foreign religion/god, diseases and desecration of stable, productive cultures. Climate Change isn't difficult to figure out. Fossil fuels are not in the overabundance of 60 years ago. Stop the Fracking, Stop the drilling, Encourage education, innovation and smaller footprints. Stop freeloading on Native American lands. Cease this incredible sense of entitlement to bulldoze over any agreements, promises and land use policy with Eminent Domain. Find another way, allow Standing Rock to stand whole and unpolluted.

    2. Pastor Xal's Avatar Pastor Xal

      Native Americans are but one of the many indigenous peoples that the United States either alone or hiding behind the corporate disguise of other nations) has taken, taken & taken, while giving back insistence for adherence to a foreign religion/god, diseases and desecration of stable, productive cultures. Climate Change isn't difficult to figure out. Fossil fuels are not in the overabundance of 60 years ago. Stop the Fracking, Stop the drilling, Encourage education, innovation and smaller footprints. Stop freeloading on Native American lands. Cease this incredible sense of entitlement to bulldoze over any agreements, promises and land use policy with Eminent Domain. Find another way, allow Standing Rock to stand whole and unpolluted.

    3. Dragon Priest's Avatar Dragon Priest

      The white devils are at it again...

    4. Jenna Christini's Avatar Jenna Christini

      It's a disgrace what we've done to Native Americans, their land, and their culture in the past, and to think that despite the genocide of a people, we are STILL ignoring their requests for justice. This is an outrage to me. With technology providing us a wealth of viable, renewable means of energy production, the fact that we're desecrating and potentially contaminating Native American land for an outdated source of dirty energy, is deeply disturbing. Where is our common decency? Where is morality?

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    After what we have done to the Native American, we need to listen to them, and most likely adhere to their wisdom. The potential for damage to our environment far out ways any cheap gas prices.

    1. Kathryn's Avatar Kathryn

      Imagine the outrage if Exxon wanted to tear down St. Patrick's cathedral or dig through Lourdes for a pipeline. We have a shameful history with Native Americans that appears to continue even now. At a time when we are urged to be tolerant of immigrants and their (intolerant) religions, why are we so quick to ignore the sensitivities of those who were here first?

      1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

        Excellent comments. I did, not that long ago, post a picture on facebook of a Catholic graveyard that said "The Pipeline, why is this not ok" and a pic of a Native graveyard/burial ground that said "and this is?"

        It's truly about perception and how we value things. The Natives were here first and they never surrendered their lands. WE, as non-status people, have Treaty Rights too. The right to ensure that the treaties are not broken, that the people are not starved or homeless. The right to ensure that this LAND is still viable and clean for our grandchildren. Those are OUR Treaty Rights.

        1. Rev. Rene's Avatar Rev. Rene

          As an immigrant ex European I can say when land was "acquired" in a conflict in Europe it was "game over!" That land was now a part of the conquering country. However fair this seems, it looks to me keeping all future generations indebted to "first nation peoples" is also an unfair solution. We no longer live in the 1800's, and is it not high time the indigenous population joins the 21st century and stops living of the proceeds of others labor!!! No, I am NOT a racist but I am fed up with this forever ongoing quarrel of native "rights" versus native cost. We, who never had a say in this, we, who are offspring or immigrants should not have to endlessly be burdened by the conflicts, and having to pay the cost of agreements that never should have been !

          1. Laurie Nevells's Avatar Laurie Nevells

            with all due respect to you, I totally disagree. The land they are trying to protect is the land the US government had forced them to live on. With the agreement that they could live the way they wish. The US GOVERNMENT had forced the Native American off the lands on which they lived, or die. The government did not own this land. They decided they wanted it and took it. They are not asking for more land, they simply want to protect the land and water in which they live. This not only involves Natives. Many towns along the river will be affected should a leak happen. Would you not protect your water supply if it was in danger. Sounds as if you have no worry about the condition we leave this land in for our grandchildren. I may suggest brushing up on your Native American History before you fly off the handle. ,.

          2. Dr. David's Avatar Dr. David

            You may not think you are a racist, but you are and we see that through what you wrote. The first nations peoples have much to teach us about how to sustain for future generations and treat the land with respect so there is a land for future generations. People who want it all now show no respect or love for the members of their family that they are leaving the earth to.

          3. Linda Weeks's Avatar Linda Weeks

            As long as we live here in North America, live our lives on their land and profit from the oppression and disenfranchisement of Natives, we will be "burdened" by our past of lies and genocide. We live here at their expense and their suffering. Choose to realize and appreciate the contributions that Natives continue to make to this country and to the very fabric of our lives. They are our brothers and sisters, not our "burdens' or our past.

          4. Athena's Avatar Athena

            Thank you for sharing : however I find your viewpoint alarming ... There were native people here before the white folk invaded, supposedly peacefully , until they did not get all they wanted. Being a self-entitled conqueror is a primitive,poor level of consciousness. .... like the bully on the playground. I love all these comments which acknowledge what we HAVE DONE to the Native Americans, with all our promises, and ensuing lies, and thefts... The Native Americans should not be the only ones fighting this. ... People are unwilling to pay the price for BIG OIL , their PROFIT MARGINS, their GREED... Corporate America has become a BEAST, self-serving, destroying, killing BEAST. And I applaud those who are saying "NO MORE", "IT STOPS HERE NOW"... The Natives in any country are NOT inferior beings , and should not be treated as such by arrogant , self-important white folks...They actually possess more common sense and natural wisdom that military or political jar heads.... I believe...Oil is an old game which we need to evolve past anyway.... With the development of other available energy sources, we do not need one more quart.

    2. Laurie Nevells's Avatar Laurie Nevells

      I agree

  1. Charles Brideson's Avatar Charles Brideson

    Any sugggedted comments for a graveside service for a deceased Christian with family survivors present?

  1. spiritualdynamicspsychology's Avatar spiritualdynamicspsychology

    Thank you for sharing this! We do need energy, but not at the cost of the earth and it's people.

    Alternate forms of energy that are renewable need to be the way of the future. As with any change, the economy based on fossil fuels, and the whole entrenched industry that stands behind the means we have been using for such a long time, will have to change at some point.

    From a human rights and the health of the earth itself perspective, the sooner millions of minds, of souls, focus on development of renewable forms of energy such as solar, geothermal, wind, water, and my favorite from antiquity, geomagnetic, the better.

    The earth will clean itself of us by the repercussion of our acts on it, and by the way we use our resources from it. It is the generations to come that will pay the price exacted by misuse of natural resources in the past up to now, pollution being the most observable among many negative effects. Larger populations drawing on more limited, and polluted future resources will be the world that millions if not billions of current souls that live in the world now, will reincarnate and experience in the future.

    What kind of world do we want to experience in our own soul's future?

    This is the importance of the immortal soul; a knowledge that we will experience in future lives what we send out in this lifetime. Let's do the very loving thing, and work together to develop earth friendly, and people friendly, renewable and respectful forms of energy.

    In loving-kindness,

    Pastor Rob

  1. Carrie's Avatar Carrie

    There have been several pipeline ruptures in the past few weeks due to faulty pipes and or valves. A reminder of the deep water rig in the gulf. The problem with all of this is that the companies who manufacture the pipe and valves, while we are told they are held to an exacting standard, the reality is that they cut corners and cheapen materials to make a larger profit. I feel that it is time, no way past time, to move on to sustainable fuels. Solar and wind are abundant, as are hydrogen cells. We were once the world leaders, no more. We are years behind the nations of Europe. I find it an interesting fact that we are the largest manufacturer of solar panels and equipment but 90% of it is sold overseas because there is no market for it here.

  1. Minister John Deringer's Avatar Minister John Deringer

    Being on both sides over my lifetime, working in the oil industry for over 17 years, I found it very disheartening. The practice of big oil comes down to money. The most for the least amount of effort, or expenditure. It's cheaper to contribute to a political party, that do their due diligence. What is happening in North Dakota, should be happening all over North America, and the world. Having knowledge, and understanding of big oil in their persuit of the blood of the earth, cannot be sustained, forever. Even they know this, so it is grab as much money now as they can, for them to either be able to sustain their unpopular ways, or branch out into other fields when the oil runs out. It is a industry with very deep pockets, and they don't like being told what to do. Decisions on environment issues are made strictly on a dollar value, not on impacts or dangers. They believe everyone has a price, and when this does not happen, they turn to intimidation, and or violence to get what they want, including causing racial tensions, to keep us all separated, because we all know, together we are all stronger than anything or anyone. Racial profiling, is used, and encouraged, by these corporations. So much so, they will hire private contactors to spread fear, and hateted by creating false flag events to get what they want from legislators, and or the majority. What this all leads up to, is; they have, and will continue to rape Mother Earth for as long as they can, spreading death, and destruction where ever they go; with only a small percentage of the population, trying to hold them accoutable all the while oil companies spread fear, and added expense to the rest. There are other means of energy, that are cleaner, cause less damage, and are sustainable, now; at this very moment! It's time to step up, as a nation, as a more knowledgeable, and aware world, and see that this, here and now, is time for change.

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    By taking a step back from the oil business itself, a bigger, darker picture comes into focus. The extraordinary, and illusory wealth (illusory because it's debt based) of the U.S. is based on a number of factors. One has been it's militaristic hegemony over the bulk of the world. The second has been the USD's status as the undisputed world reserve currency for many decades. A third factor has been the privately held Federal Reserve's willingness to print seemingly endless amounts of USDs. But a key component has been the now waning existence of the petro-dollar system. I've linked the first part of a three part series regarding this often overlooked factor. The "oil wars" are as much about power and control as they are about money.

  1. Sammantha R's Avatar Sammantha R

    Haven't we always been at war with Eastasia?

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    It's good to see that no one (so far) has suggested that nuclear is a viable alternative to oil and coal. News about the on-going Fukushima disaster is all but gone from the mainstream media (and the minds of the general population), in spite of the fact that it's worse now than it was in 2011, with no solution in sight. Here's a link to one of the best news aggregators for those who choose not to avoid disturbing realities to protect their personal happiness. There is accurate, current information available by simply searching "Fukushima" as well.

  1. Floyd's Avatar Floyd

    "They insist the new source of oil will be good for the economy as a whole." The way we're set up, the only thing ever 'good' for our economy is war. Sad, but historically true.

    1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      …."The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop…."

  1. Marsha's Avatar Marsha

    I am Native American and it pains me how we get mistreated and it's OK I agree the land is ours we were here first and to be treated like we have no rights the government should be ashamed but they seem to not care something needs to be done

    1. revbarbarajadams's Avatar revbarbarajadams

      Not just the Government, Marsha. Every citizen of the United States should be ashamed. We may be a country of laws, but we are becoming a country with no conscience. The land is not the Governments to use if it is Indian land. My husband is part Indian, but I would have believed this anyway. Right is right and this is a far cry from right.

    2. Laurie Nevells's Avatar Laurie Nevells

      Marsha, I am ashamed of the us government and way your brothers and sisters have been treated . I am not Native American at least not in this life. But I have such a strong connection, I cry at the unjustified treatment that have been done. This is NOT OK !!!!! I stand proud with The Protectors of land and water. It is for our children we fight for clean air and water. Mother Earth is in big trouble. I pray it is not to late.

    3. Fay Fleming's Avatar Fay Fleming

      Fay Dear Marsha, I live in country or the bush if you like, I truly feel for you and your people. We have done similar to or native Aboriginal people here. We have had fracking taking place not far from my home, as a result had a bush fire caused by the massive flame on one of the sites. This happened in the middle of summer on an very windy day. We were forced to evacuate our home, and weren't sure we would still have a house. Having said that the oil/gas company has ignored all concerns and protests to stop the fracking. The place I am talking about is in the Piliga Forrest, it would probable be on the net. Protesters had to flee the fire but are back doing whatever they can. No thought has gone into local culture or concerns. I am fully in support of you and all native peoples. Brightest Blessings

  1. Sandy's Avatar Sandy

    Government and companies that are looking to take once again, land that isn't yours,-- Stay away for God,s sakes!! How would you like it if someone tromped on to your land, dig everything up, and give you nine kinds of hell?? Why must you keep acting like a bunch of little children, fighting over a toy?? The land belongs to the natives, not you !! Of course they are wanting to protect their sacred land-- or what's left of it-- what they have left, of course they are going to hold dear!! I just can't figure out why people don't get it!! This country is getting stupider by the day!! I'm ashamed to say I'm from the United States-- The only thing that keeps me here is my native heritage, which is Cheyenne-- and I, amongst other natives, Will do anything to protect our sacred rights!!

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher


  1. virginia feldman's Avatar virginia feldman

    So the 'sacredness' of the people and water of Bismark are of higher value than that of Standing Rock peoples? The people of Bismark prevailed with their arguments even though they were highly like to have been arguing in a courtroom that had once been Native American land.But they presently have little money & power, which is because we White immigrants took their land by force years ago and now we have reaped all its profits. And now we want more --to support out greed for unlimited energy. If we want energy independence, we should stop using most of the world's fossil fuels. Not build toxic pipelines adjacent to their present boundaries--which we severely limited over the century. Ginny Feldman

  1. Luis's Avatar Luis

    This article raises important questions which are not new, but we should probably revisit. Even the rich who are making a lot of money should understand that hurting our mother earth, to the point of no return is detrimental to them also and their money will mean nothing.



  1. Reverend Cheryl Many Tears Vaughan.'s Avatar Reverend Cheryl Many Tears Vaughan.

    Osiyo, All the U.S. government does is take & do what they want to Native People. I am a Native myself and I think it has been a sin the way Native people have been treated. They cannot get the help they need to live a better life, but the government can help foreigners of other countries. We were the original people here. We deserve respect and the land we behold sacred does also. Before you know it, some big rich white billionaire will come there and want to put up golf. courses their. I say NO. Enough is Enough! It is up to the people to make the decisions about their own land. Peace

  1. Carla C Kerr's Avatar Carla C Kerr

    How inhumane to send dogs after Indians peacefully protesting and having loaded guns pointed at them. Without water, people die. There are so many pipeline leaks that are never reported so Indians are in the right in protesting this dangerous intrusion into their lives. I am Cherokee and if I wasn't so old, I would be right there with them, but my prayers and spirit are with them. These oil people must come to their senses and move on.

  1. Russell's Avatar Russell

    Have not enough Native Americas been pushed around and murdered since the they landed here on their land?

  1. Jackie's Avatar Jackie

    this artical lneeds clarification. at one point is say adjacent to tribal lands and then later it say running through it? which is it? it is clear to me that if the pipeline runs THROUGH tribal lands then, if the tribe so wishes, it must be moved. if however the pipeline is adjacent to tribal lands it is then up to the people who live on or own the land it is truely on. we can not nor should we return all lands taken in wars. it is simply a childs dream. would you all like to try to figure out where to go live? could all who claim european desent return? no. could all those of african decent return? could all of oriental decent return? again the answer is no. make the best of it as the world is now. if we stop the verbal and actual rock throwing we could accomplish much. but it is easier to make grand statements and truly accomplish NOTHING.

    1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine's Avatar Rev. Jo-An Josephine

      What I read from the article was that the pipeline is running adjacent to the current tribal land, however that "adjacent" land used to belong to the tribe before it was Stolen from them in the 1800's. Not ALL land can be returned, but it doesn't mean we must continue to treat the Natives the way the Governments have been.
      Like I posted earlier, We, the non-status people, have Treaty Rights too! The right to make sure that the treaties aren't broken!! By George I can tell you....they are Broken, each and every day.
      We need to take a stand today. A stand against the injustices committed against the Native people while others are treated like royalty!!

    2. Carla C Kerr's Avatar Carla C Kerr

      This is about protecting their only source of water. It isn't about the land. Water is life for all of us and you can understand their fear of oil leaking into the Missouri River leaving them without water. This pipeline needs go another direction.

  1. Jim's Avatar Jim

    I am not a Native American (at least not to any degree that means anything) but I definitely stand with them in opposing this continued usurping of their lands, dismissal of their health and safety, and general actions of greed that are constantly displayed by the United States government and corporations. It angers me to see responses on other forums stating that Native Americans should just get over it, and that they are blocking jobs and progress for others. There are so many other options out there that are viable to reduce and eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. Obviously solar and wind for our houses and places of work, as well as alternative modes of transportation. I just parted with a gas-guzzling pickup truck and am selling two gas powered motorcycles that I have replaced with an electric motorcycle. A motorcycle that can be charged using both wind and solar power sources. I will be in the Dakotas for a conference at the end of the month, and both my wife and I are seriously thinking about lending our voices to the protests that are taking place there, even if only for a day.

  1. Liz's Avatar Liz

    One interesting point not mentioned in the article is that the First Nations were engaged in negotiations with ETP early on in the planning process. They agreed to the pipeline route and accepted monetary compensation. Construction began with all parties content until the Sioux came back to ETP demanding more money, double actually. ETP declined obviously. This led to threats from the Sioux to pay up or they would stop construction.

    1. Bob Anderson's Avatar Bob Anderson

      Your comment is based on what article? I have followed this story closely from its inception and have never heard what you are claiming.

      1. Liz's Avatar Liz

        This is my industry. My business is directly involved in pipeline planning. The media is always very frustrating, they've created a narrative and the public eats it up; the big, bad, greedy oil companies only care about money and will go through anything and anyone to get it. While there is a lot of truth there, it's not the entire truth. The oil companies are not the only greedy ones and these stories in the news are always a lot more complex. In North Dakota neither side can claim complete innocence. The Dakota access commencing construction after being approved despite localized pockets of resistance is not unusual. What is unusual is how public the opposition has become. The Keystone, the last big pipeline to face this kind of backlash, was a different story. It would have given thousands of jobs to Americans, but it was to carry Canadian oil to port giving landlocked Canadian oil access to the world market. Of course that was never going to get approval from the American gov. But it was great for cementing Obama's "Savior of the environment" legacy. The majority of media outlets carried the headline of "Save the environment" not the real story, "Block Canadian oil from the world market so it doesn't compete with ours." After the defeat of Keystone Americans congratulated each other on their victory for the environment, meanwhile the USA quietly built pipelines equalling more than 6 times the length of Keystone, but for American oil obviously. The USA successfully got their own oil to port, entered the world market and are now jostling for the top spot in world oil production. For the American people, numerous jobs created greater consumer power has injected millions of dollars in to the economy, more taxes paid means more money for infrastructure and services and of course a nice boost to the GDP. For an economy that had taken quite the beating, pipelines were a welcome relief, even if it was not acknowledged. These pipelines were built near water, under it, through it, through pristine environments etc. unopposed. As the general population we enjoy the benefits of our oil, we love our oil dependent lives and are not willing to give it up. We go about our lives blindly contributing to the very things we say we oppose; harm to people and the environment. So, business as usual, EMT proposes Dakota access, it's approved quickly because that has become the status quo. It's regulatory process was much less rigid than the Keystone I might add. Some opposition, placate with money, carry on. Is it ethical? No, but people and companies like money. Like it or not, that's how it works. And yes, there is money motivating both sides of the Dakota access dispute. The truth is the Dakota access is in fact a risk to the Missouri river, just like several other pipelines already in the ground near it. The truth is that thousands of families were relying on the construction of this pipeline for their incomes and will now be struggling to feed and house themselves. The truth is that if this pipeline is stopped it will force the USA to import oil to those East coast markets instead, import it from places with little environmental regulation. It just relocates the risk to some other group of people in some other country, supports some other economy in some other country. The Dakota Access...not as black and white as it appears, but neither was the Keystone, they never are.

        1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

          Just as the concept of free international trade, in order to ultimately level wages and production costs, requires a lot of years and problems to accomplish, so it is the same with fossil fuels...the problem is people do not want to go through a many-years period of adjustment, to ultimately save the planet and all of us

        2. Cindy Polom's Avatar Cindy Polom

          I must say this sounds like a former Enbridge person replying, and it is not in our best interest. We have fought the Pipeline that threatens the largest fresh water supply, The Great Lakes, since it was installed. There were promises made, contracts signed, that included how much volume and what kind's of product would be piped through it and especially important was when would it be retired. It was retired, and then Ontario refused to allow Enbridge a pipeline to traverse through Ontario because of the proximity to Lake Huron and the entire watershed. Then the company acquired the lease of the pipeline, and began using it, without Army Corp of Engineer Approval, DEQ or any other US Government Agency approval. Under the premise that as long as it operated under the original terms the lease was valid. It has been proven through numerous studies that any spill would contaminate the largest fresh water supply in the world. They had the large spill in Three Rivers, Michigan and Alberta, Canada, which are still not cleaned up 100%. In the past two years they proved to the media, Government Officials, and citizens that they cannot begin to contain a spill in the Straits of Mackinac. This is a double pipeline in 200 plus feet of water that has a current which flows both east and west depending on the moon, wind and weather with a majority of it uncovered and not properly supported cannot be contained. The company responded by INCREASING the amount they are pumping through the two pipes known as Pipeline #5. None of the product pumped through that pipeline is intended for US Consumers. As is this pipeline in South Dakota. We need to stand with the Souix nation for our own best interests. I for one believe we are Stewards, commanded to take care of our planet, we are all that stands between having a world our descendants can live in or not.

          1. Jim's Avatar Jim

            I live in Michigan, and have been concerned for awhile about the line running under the Straits of Mackinac. I have also seen how through the spill on the Kalamazoo river that they have attempted to appease the community by paying for a large park to be installed along the river. Not good enough. There have been far too many examples of what happens when these spills occur, and how they just throw money at it and think it will go away. Money will not fix the harm done to the environment.

        3. William Jay's Avatar William Jay

          Well Liz, since you are a big fan of complete truth, google yourself up a map of the Keystone and see that THREE phases are constructed AND operational, carrying both Canadian and American oil. The phase you refer to is known as Keystone XL, (as in Extended Line) ... While you're at it, please google yourself up a page on Canada and you will find that its' motto is derived from Psalm 72: Et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos terrae => Canada uses the "A Mari Usque Ad Mari" part = From Sea to Sea, plus add one more ocean to the Atlantic and Pacific, namely the Arctic = Three Oceans. ... so there is no such thing as "land-locked" Canadian anything. Halifax Harbour is deep enough and close enough to the Gulf Stream oceanic currents that it is open 12 months a year, when many other ports are frozen ... Where you may get EMT from is anyones' guess as the company building it is Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) ... Your assertion that if this pipeline is stopped that it will force any new imports to East coast markets or elsewhere is absurd. The choices are pump it and sell it, (for export too), or cap it and wait. You write pretty well but you fail the truth test, miserably.

  1. Carla C Kerr's Avatar Carla C Kerr

    What article are you referring to, Liz and how do you know this is all true??

  1. Rev. Jon's Avatar Rev. Jon

    We should stop talking and start listening- feel each others pain. Rev. Jon

  1. Laurie Fox's Avatar Laurie Fox

    From everything I've read or heard from people who have been to Standing Rock, there have been no incidents of violence on the part of those defending the water and route for the pipeline there. The national guard and police have used dogs and pepper spray and carry heavy weapons, and have tried to get the demonstrators and Natives to do something violent so they have an excuse to open fire on them. I don't know if it's true that the Sioux took money after agreeing to let the pipeline be built or not.

    1. Cindy Polom's Avatar Cindy Polom

      It has been proven true that they did not accept the money, they did not agree, and they filed all of the correct papers and responded timely. Which is why the Federal Government got involved. Whoever Liz is, they are not telling us the complete truth. .

  1. Minister Ken's Avatar Minister Ken

    I believe that instead of bulldozing our way through we should have included the Tribe elders in any decisions made that would effect them or their people. Trying to find the most viable solution while being totally inclusive and transparent should be our way of doing things as nation.


    We should all stand beside our ancestral cousins and fight Congress .besides they must be tired fighting for this beautiful land that we poisen ,litter , pollute, yet our ancestors see hope. They should have not helped us for what we are doing to THERE land not ours , I am disgusted of what we have done Everybody is at fault. Please let's save there land . The sacred land is taboo to all white man, should not be taken lightly. I would stand next to my cousins to go against the white government, my daughter would expect nothing less, I am a veteran, I am of Indian blood ,I am proud of this as I am proud of my country NATIVE AMERICA. All true Americans stand together why do you not stand tall with your ancestors. If it was not for them we would not be here. No Columbus , no wright brothers , no us. Thank you Native American Indians man ,woman,child , Do not forgive them for they know exactly what they do. May the Great Spirit give us strength . Thank you. Rambo. DDGRUBB

  1. Athena's Avatar Athena

    people depending on oil for their living, need to move on to other areas of development or interest. Don't tell me we need to keep something because you are too bought into your current situation... This oil in this pipeline WILL NOT SERVE AMERICANS anyway !!! except for you employees and the countries we export to ... People WANT alternative energy sources DEVELOPED NOW... As long as gasoline and oil rule, you will have your foot on our throats, moving our strings like we are your puppets... The puppets are awake, aware and tired of it...

  1. Honey Shashaah's Avatar Honey Shashaah

    This oil is not for us. It belongs to Canada. It will be put on tankers in the gulf and sent out of the country. The pipe lines are very bad. They leak and rupture in neighborhoods. The people living in those neighborhoods can never return to their homes. Look up what it has done to some people in Texas. This pipe line should be stopped and never allowed to be built anywhere in this country.

    1. Mel's Avatar Mel

      It's just the same old story - MONEY. This is just another cancer growing and out of control. As long as we allow ourselves - and I mean the human(?) race - to continue to put greed ahead of all other factors, then this pipeline and other things like it will continue. We need tp protect the land and its heritage and that of its people. That oil will not last long, not in the scheme of things, but the land and its people will if allowed to. The Earth is alive, but sick, and as a species we are the reason for the illness when we should be acting as the cure. SAVE THE LAND!

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher

    WHEN will the PEOPLE of this COUNTRY the US of A take into account what has been done to the NATIVE AMERICAN for the ALMIGHTY BUCK, ESPECIALLY ALL YOU HYPOCRITEs that TAKE any HYPOCRITICAL OATHs........

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher


  1. David Holmes's Avatar David Holmes

    What you want to be, You already are, You are strong enough, good enough, You are beautiful.

  1. DJ's Avatar DJ

    I totally agree with the Standing Rock Sioux. Also, native Americans should never have to relinquish their lands or abide pollution of such, for any reason. The Native Americans have always been better caretakers of Mother Earth than anyone else in this country. When the first white people landed in our country, there were 500,000 Native Americans here & ZERO pollution. Native peoples across the earth have a much better understanding of reverent co-existence with Gaia. Additionally, Did the Alaska pipeline ever do what it was supposed to?

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    As was said many years ago by a realistic Native American, and I paraphrase: the white man only kept one promise to us; he said he would take our lands, and he did...aside from the fact there should be no more pipelines, this one is just another step in an on-going, historical genocide, and should be stopped

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher




    1. Jim's Avatar Jim

      The frustrating thing is that neither major party candidate is addressing this issue at all. We know which way Trump would swing, but Clinton has been silent as well. I do not feel that either candidate would do the right thing without an enormous amount of pressure being placed on them.

  1. Jim's Avatar Jim

    I've noticed that as this issue continues the major media outlets have gone silent on the continuing protests. Shailene Woodly, for anyone familiar with the Divergent movie series, was arrested for her part in the protests this past Monday, and it's primarily only been the Hollywood gossip websites that have even reported on it. Ignoring the issue, as the media now seems to be doing, will not make it go away. It is going to take a politically unpopular decision to do the right thing in this situation, which is something that I have yet to see anybody in a prominent leadership position have the courage to do. Yes, president Obama ordered a reevaluation of the pipeline, but beyond that even he has been silent. This should not be a political issue. Doing the right thing should never be political. Stop the pipeline.

  1. Carla C Kerr's Avatar Carla C Kerr

    I knew there was more to this than met the eye. I could not see our brothers accepting money and not following through. This is the white man's way of doing things. Stand strong!

  1. Reverend Brian Wallen's Avatar Reverend Brian Wallen

    Being Native my self I am in full support of the Standing Rock Sioux and all the rest of the Native Americans that are there. Now with that being said we can turn to the bible to somewhat answer the first question. In Genesis God made Adam from the dust of the Earth, so we are made of the earth and if we destroy the earth we destroy ourselves. Adam and Eve was told to be fruitful and multiply. This could be looked up on to populate the earth, or to advance the human race. From the earth we are made and unto the earth we shall return. So yes in my opinion the human race and the Earth is beholden to each other. By constantly bowing down to economic interests we are enabling the greedy, which greed is a sin and if we allow these people to continue and we turn the earth so toxic that plants and animals will not survive then how can we survive as well. Once we kill the earth then we kill ourselves as well and the next extinction event will be us. So yes we need to be very conservative and find alternate form of energy. Greed kills in more ways that one.

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher


  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    For those harbouring misconceptions about "the Government", the Constitution, and "Democracy", I encourage you to research the Act of 1871. Here's a starting point, but do your own research….

  1. Reverend Brian Wallen's Avatar Reverend Brian Wallen

    The pipeline has nothing to do with the constitution, but has everything to do with the broken treaties, As well as clean water. toxic water supplies and water sources is a world wide problem. So would you please do your own research into the broken treaties. Here is a starting point for you as well.



    1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

      Hey John…. The elections are an illusion, a distraction. There are (s)elections, not elections. The POTUS and (s)elected officials do not run the U.S. They read the teleprompter and do as their told by those who fund them.

      Corporate and global banking interests, represented by thousands of highly paid lobbyists run the U.S. and have done so for many, many years. Compare the number of paid lobbyists to the number of (s)elected members of Congress and the House of Representatives.

      Is there a reason you choose to use CAPS so frequently? It looks like you're shouting, makes it hard to read your posts, and makes them more RANTS than thoughtful comments.

  1. Rev John's Avatar Rev John

    Since the beginning of time man has invented what we call greed.Without this greed the world would be a beautiful place to live.But unfortunately it's not meant to be so you see their is a lot of greedy people out there who would rather see other people suffer for their gain than them you see the greedier they get more people suffer. So where do all the complaining come from you all figure it out

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher

    AS an ORDAINED Minister of Universal life CHURCH, I will be TRAVELING to 3rd world COUNTRIES to SPREAD the WORDs of JESUS CHRIST to INDIGENIES , HOW do I JUSTIFY the ACTIONs of the USof A ???

  1. John Maher's Avatar John Maher

    If I made anyone FEEL uncomfortable EXCUSE ME, I use LARGE LETTERs A LOT to MAKE a POINT and becuase of MY EYESIGHT, FURTHERMORE I DO NOT RANT, I BELIEVE in what I think and SAY that is WHY I SAY it........if my comments are NOT WELCOME PLEASE then INFORM ME of SAME, Thank You

  1. Jamie Howington's Avatar Jamie Howington

    We can switch to sustainable energy now. For those of us who want the change to happen immediately we can convert our cars to electric ones, recycle, reduce, and reuse, and make sure the way we live our daily lives leaves a zero carbon footprint.

  1. William Jay's Avatar William Jay

    This is a comment for the editor of the article. I can see where Bakken Formation could be confused with the Bakken Field but this DAPL pipeline has one terminal point in North Dakota and the other in Illinois ... "From Canada to" is a mistake, so please make the correction for accuracy. For a map of the route ->

  1. William Jay's Avatar William Jay

    I really like that picture opposite the SubHead worded "Violent Clashes" shown in this article. It is very indicative of too much of the so-called reporting being done => say one thing while showing another ... For anyone with eyes to see, look at the photo of the dog and protesters above, with the filename => ... dog-attack-449x300.jpg ... now zoom in and have a good look.

    What you can see may be quite different from what I can see. My interpretation is, of course, coloured by having watched about as much video as anyone from this day in September. I see is a man with a broken stick, yes a survey stake and so not a very sturdy stick, but to say that the dog is attacking the man is to ignore that the man may be the attacker of the dog. Now, it;s a still and it appears that the handler is off leash at this point but also notice that more men are advancing, at least one other with a stick, advancing with weapon at the ready to attack, not defend, not retreat from danger, as non-violent protesters are trained to do ...

    One technique I find useful when watching videos of these types of actions is to mute the audio and just watch, several times, to see and think about what is to be seen. I do it with videos from all sources, right, left, middle, amateur, professional ... then listen to the audio, by itself ... it's totally amazing how many times the voice says X while the video shows Y...

    It's by that technique of separation that we may recognize truths from untruths .. facts from spin .. discern police wrong-doing from protester wrong-doing from agents-provocateurs in action, and so on. Reporters lie, witnesses lie, local politicos lie, and we lie to ourselves. but it's is a way to see who's zoomin' whom in many cases. Notice when they narrate "armed with automatic weapons" but show you "armed with Baton", notice when a reporter with a camera crew says "We heard" or "I saw" but their own camera crew, somehow, missed that part. In PR, (propaganda), it's always the case that "who owns the language controls the narrative". Protester becomes Protecter, Fracked Oil becomes Energy, Global Warming becomes Climate Change, Guard dog becomes Attack dog, and so on, you get my drift, hopefully.

    It may surprise some that the US Government, in Law and fact, owns all so-called 'Native or Treaty or Indian' landa and holds it "In trust" fo those they consider as children. State Law is of no effect on 'Tribal' lands, only Federal law. 'Eminent Domain' was used on private landholders as the State really owns that 'private' land, with deeded posession to a taxpayer ... try not paying your land-tax bill and see if the rightful owner doesn't reposses it ..Try to block some company with 'mineral rights' to the sub-surface of 'Your" land to see who gets arrested. Ownership and Possession are separate issues, in Law. Sovereignity refers to a Sovereign, of which there are few and rarely are they actually among us, the 99.999994%

    As a parting shot, let me point out that those so-called 'Sacred Burial Grounds' were recently discovered,(how recently and by who has yet to be disclosed), to be 'culturally significant' and that the Suit was filed, in Federal Court, one day before those dozers were scheduled to arrive at that location... cheers folks, we are all downstream from the source,

  1. William Jay's Avatar William Jay

    How long does it take, normally, for a comment pending moderation to be moderated? Is ther a feedback mechanism to know, in case of rejection, why a given post or comment has been rejected?

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    good question...why should there be moderation at all?

  1. William Jay's Avatar William Jay

    Well, practice moderation in everything, especially moderation ... as for websites, moderation is a way to stop spam before it hits the readership, stopping unwarranted or overly aggressive replies and personal attacks .. THe reason I asked it here was a suspicion that this thread was being censorsed. This turns out to be unfounded, because my comments showed up today and, as you may see, are generally contrary to the general gist of the conversation so far. That it is an open to all thread is a good thing, in my opinion.

  1. Auntie M's Avatar Auntie M

    How many acres of land wete deep pit mined to provide the rare eart minerals in the devices we are using to read and debate about this pipeline ?

    How much water used in the factories ? How much waste ?

    I refuse to throw these stones ; they look like bomerrangs.

    I lack the vision to know what the correct course may be. But, I do believe that speaking with love, listening with respect, keeping an open mind, and encouraging a light spirit will lead to peace and even prosperity.

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