The Dakota Access Pipeline

My brother messaged me yesterday. He said, “someone on my time line posted this.. thought I’d bounce this off people who have been there…” it linked to a long post someone had made about the Dakota Access Pipeline issue. The individual made many bold statements throughout their post, and my brother wanted some insight. I traveled to Standing Rock in October to offer my support in anyway possible to the folks out there and know many people who are there permanently. That’s why he felt comfortable checking in with me about clarifying some of this person’s claims. What started as a quick eye-roll and sigh turned into a long winded rebuttal to what I read. I feel inclined to share it here for multiple reasons. First, I think that as a website about taking a different perspective on travel, this is a prime example of traveling, not to perpetuate settler-colonialism, but indeed in an attempt to do the opposite; to support those in direct resistance to 500+ years of colonization and corporate imperialism perpetuated by the state. Secondly, it is not the job of the oppressed to teach or inform the oppressor about their lived experience. It is the job of those in positions of privilege to keep it in check and to educate themselves. Here is my attempt to educate based on my knowledge of the issue. Lastly, these struggles are exhausting. People on the frontlines should not, and do not, have to explain why they are doing what they’re doing to people sitting comfortably behind their computers. They are being beaten, tazed, pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullet, and having sniper rifles aimed at them. So here is my attempt to call out some of the lies being perpetrated to push through this pipeline. As someone not on the frontlines, and with the excess time and energy to respond to the arguments for the pipeline this is the least I can do at this time. Please share this piece with anyone you think needs clarification about the issue at hand. Continue reading