Is Standing Rock on Your Radar?

When you are having trouble coming up with a topic for an article, sometimes a recent event can serve as a starting point.

An example of this is Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. For months now, this Indian reservation has been in the headlines. Historically, this is the location where Sitting Bull was killed in 1890.

The underlying issue that brought it to the attention of the world now was the movement of the route of an underground pipeline that would be carrying crude oil from western North Dakota to Illinois, passing under the Missouri River.

The original route had the pipeline going just north of Bismarck, the state capital of North Dakota. The people of that community protested, concerned about unacceptable risks to their municipal water supply.

The route was moved to a less populated area near the Standing Rock reservation. The Indians are protesting for similar reasons – concern about possible pollution of the Missouri River, which would then move down the longest waterway in the US, since the Missouri joins the Mississippi River further down stream. This would impact the potable water of millions of Americans.

The Indians are also concerned about the impact on ancestral lands that generations of earlier Indians hunted, fished, and were buried on.

Side matters that could be discussed in an article range from the peaceful nature of this protest that has brought together supporters from over 300 tribal nations, (something that would not have happened in the past) to the role of the policies surrounding the use of eminent domain to acquire the land for the pipeline, (which is being built by a private company, not a governmental body) to the effectiveness of the environmental and historical review performed by the US Army Corps of Engineers prior to the approval of this route.

Recently the Army has said they will deny this particular easement while doing more study. While the Indians were celebrating their victory, others were warning that President-elect Trump was a supporter of the pipeline. Another article could be written about the transfer of leadership in the US, and what actions can be taken/should be taken by the incoming president when he disagrees with actions taken by a predecessor.

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Happy writing!

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