Not “just a pipeline”


AP file photo 2012 Sue Agrocki

Among Native communities, including ours, the status of oil pipelines is a big concern. So many of them cross Native reservations and, as someone here pointed out, 100% of them in Canada and the US cross Native lands. 

You may recall some several years ago when I shared about the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) and the history-making, cross-cultural protest response that resulted in thousands encamped on the Standing Rock Reservation in north-central South Dakota and into North Dakota. Those protests brought together people globally, in a way that the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests this past summer also did.

For many, including me, both protests are closely linked. They protest ongoing, systemic violations of the human rights of groups of people who are critical in our nation’s and world’s history and our nation’s and world’s future, and who have been so for hundreds of years and multiple generations. I find it hopeful that, while led by members of groups that have suffered systemic oppression for hundreds of years, the movements attracted and challenged members of groups which, perhaps until now, have never considered what it means to be privileged by the systems within which we/they live.

I’ve been thinking about “white privilege” a lot these days. I’ll blog on it more in the future. But for now, I’d like to share a collection of articles focusing on the ongoing protests and concerns about oil pipelines and the changes to public policy in the US that connect with the risks those pipelines pose for people and for the Earth itself. 

Yes, I respect that these are complex and politically difficult issues. The difficulties are linked to the divisive mindset we’ve all been trained in during the past four years or so. Like the realities of white privilege, I believe it’s relevant for us to stretch our minds around these difficult issues right now. I hope you find the articles stretching…