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Saturday, October 29, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy
Answer to the question:

What's happening between North Dakota & #STANDING ROCK?

by Andrea Morisette Grazzini

A 1980 ruling by US federal courts found that land Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is building on was illegally taken from First Nation/Native Americans in the 1862 "Dakota War" aka: the Sioux Uprising and the subsequent Treaty of 1877.


1. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe [that lives on/near this land] has registered a complaint (lawsuit), part of which the federal government is still reviewing.

In response the feds have already halted DAPL construction near and under a large key watershed on First Nation/Native American land and have further, asked them to voluntarily stop. But the fed has not made a final decision on the entire complaint. Their complaints are oriented primarily around
a. the health of the watershed/drinking water, and, to a lesser but related extent: the environment in general.  
b. the destruction of architectural antiquities related to the land.

c. interference with holy burial grounds.

2. Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC is proceeding with construction.
Likely to preserve the value of sunk costs already put into the project, and, willing to risk greater losses in hopes that a "once it's built" exception will kick in by the time the feds make their final call.

3. North Dakota is supporting the company, likely to retain jobs and revenues it produces for their state.
They sought to bring in the National Guard before they got approval from the feds. The feds sided instead with the First Nation/Native Americans and refused the request.
So North Dakota reached out to neighboring states for support. Some, including the Anoka, Washington and Hennepin County Sheriff's Offices in Minnesota have responded, even against their constituents/communities and leaders' complaints. One state went to help but then withdrew due to the accountability conflicts.

4. The federal government's first response was positive for the tribes. And, in general they tend to favor tribal sovereignty in cases like this.
States have a different relationship with tribes, and, in some cases this includes asserting jurisdictional power over tribes in public safety and civil matters, though this tends to be frowned on except in extreme cases.

It's likely the feds were hoping that DAPL would pull out and/or that they'd negotiate or amend their plans to accommodate the tribes, rather than force the feds to make a call that will create a major outcry whichever way they decide.
1. First Nation/Native Americans and the US have "dual sovereignty."

2. First Nation/Native American land is sovereign. (The federal government does not govern First Nation/Native American land.)

3. The federal government is Constitutionally mandated to a "Trust Relationship" that includes a "duty to protect" tribal rights.

* * * * *
From [here,] there are two somewhat tricky parts:
Part ONE

1. In the 1980 decision, SCOTUS ordered the government to pay the tribes a multi-million dollar sum.

2. Though it doesn't control tribes' land, the federal government does reserve some 'power over' tribes around economic/commerce matters in exchange for relative supports for tribes.

Namely trade and taxes.

3. Since the tribes never gave up the land they are asserting their original rights, which the U.S. government acknowledged in its ruling, so they see the governments payoff as an unilateral payout as "trade," which they never agreed to.

So they never took the money. It remains in escrow in the Treasury, still.
Part TWO

1. The second tricky part is that some states presume public safety and civil court jurisdiction over tribes and their people, and this is not outside federal law.

2. However, states cannot make rules and agreements over and/or with tribes independent of related federal laws, all contained in Treaties either, so it gets murky.

3. In many cases, when they've tried to and been called on it, the federal government has ruled in favor of tribal sovereignty.

4. Hence, the lawsuit that the tribes have in front of the Justice department as we speak.

If I were betting, I'd put my money on the tribes to win. Since there's precedent for that, and clear language about land ownership and the responsibility of the government to sustain their commitments to First Nation/Native American tribes who our country has abused since we were founded, I also side with them.
by Andrea Morisette Grazzini


Dakota Access Pipeline: More Than 100 Arrested as Protesters Ousted From Camp