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Rosebud Sioux Tribe Calls Keystone XL Vote An Act Of War

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Skies of Much Oblige
Skies of Much Oblige

You’d think the Koch Industries lackeys in Congress would understand declarations of war, but maybe not since this is more of a “talking” war instead of a “bombing brown-skinned people” kind of war.

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote this week on a bill to force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which the House of Representatives already passed on Friday, American Indian groups who would be directly impacted by the tar sands project are converging on Washington D.C. to voice their opposition.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, whose territory in South Dakota lies along the proposed route of the pipeline, released a statement last week calling Congressional approval of the project an “act of war against our people.”

In a call with reporters on Monday, President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe vowed to fight back should the pipeline win government approval.
“Did I declare war on the Keystone XL pipeline? Hell yeah, I did,” said Scott. “I pledge my life to stop these people from harming our children and grandchildren and way of life. They will not cross our treaty lands. We have so much to lose here.”

Scott arrives in D.C. on Tuesday and plans to “rattle the doors” on Capitol Hill ahead of the evening vote. He said he hopes to draw special attention to the fact that the pipeline would cross one of North America’s largest fresh water sources, an aquifer that provides water for a full quarter of the nation’s farmland.

“I’m going to talk to every senator and anybody who will talk to me,” he said. “I will tell them, ‘It’s not a matter of if the pipeline will contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer, but when. And if you contaminate the aquifer, we can’t drink, we can’t grow crops. Where are we going to get our water, from Congress?’”

Besides the environmental threat of the pipeline, which Scott called an “atrocity against all humans,” the Rosebud Sioux say the U.S. government has not met its treaty obligations to ask the tribe for approval of projects that cross their territory. “The U.S. government does not consult us,” he said, noting that concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have been so far ignored. “We have a sovereign nation. We have our own constitution and laws here. But they violated my people’s treaty rights once again.”

(click here to continue reading American Indian Tribe Calls Keystone XL Vote An ‘Act Of War’ | ThinkProgress.)

Moving in Circles - Velvia 100F
Moving in Circles – Velvia 100F

and from the Summit County Voice:

Of course the U.S. government has hardly ever taken Native American concerns seriously, so it would be a surprise if that happened now, but Rosebud Sioux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) Tribal President Scott said his nation has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through tribal land. Concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed, he said in a statement.

“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren,” Scott said. “We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people,” he said.

In February of this year, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and other members of the Great Sioux Nation adopted tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project.

“The Lakota people have always been stewards of this land,” Scott said. “We feel it is imperative that we provide safe and responsible alternative energy resources not only to tribal members but to non-tribal members as well. We need to stop focusing and investing in risky fossil fuel projects like TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. We need to start remembering that the earth is our mother and  stop polluting her and start taking steps to preserve the land, water, and our grandchildren’s future.”

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, along with several other South Dakota Tribes, are unified in opposition to risky and dangerous fossil fuel projects like TransCanada’s Keystone XL. The proposed route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline crosses directly through Great Sioux Nation (Oceti Sakowin) Treaty lands as defined by both the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties and within the current exterior boundaries of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

(click here to continue reading Environment: South Dakota Native Americans describe House vote on Keystone XL pipeline as an ‘act of war’ | Summit County Citizens Voice.)

Dreams of the Lattice Work
Dreams of the Lattice Work

From Wikipedia’s entry on the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie:

The Treaty of Fort Laramie (also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868) was an agreement between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota, and Arapaho Nation[1] signed on April 29, 1868 at Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territory, guaranteeing to the Lakota ownership of the Black Hills, and further land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Powder River Country was to be henceforth closed to all whites. The treaty ended Red Cloud’s War.

In the treaty, the U.S. included all Ponca lands in the Great Sioux Reservation. Conflict between the Ponca and the Sioux/Lakota, who now claimed the land as their own by U.S. law, forced the U.S. to remove the Ponca from their own ancestral lands in Nebraska to poor land in Oklahoma.

The treaty includes an article intended to “ensure the civilization” of the Lakota, financial incentives for them to farm land and become competitive, and stipulations that minors should be provided with an “English education” at a “mission building.” To this end the U.S. government included in the treaty that white teachers, blacksmiths, a farmer, a miller, a carpenter, an engineer and a government agent should take up residence within the reservation.

Repeated violations of the otherwise exclusive rights to the land by gold prospectors led to the Black Hills War. Migrant workers seeking gold had crossed the reservation borders, in violation of the treaty. Indians had assaulted these gold prospectors, in violation of the treaty, and war ensued.

(click here to continue reading Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

 

Sioux Reservation map

Sioux Reservation map

–updated with a comment by Meteor Blades of Daily Kos

The splitting up of the Great Sioux Nation is a violation of the 1851 and 1868 treaties, something the Lakota have been battling since before Custer got his comeuppance. The pipeline crosses lots of the territory covered in those treaties:

Inside the blue line is the original 1868 Treaty land for the Sioux (the 1851 Treaty allocated somewhat more).

The Black Hills were taken in 1877, the same year Crazy Horse surrendered and was soon killed in captivity. 1889 and 1910 losses were due to allotments. You can see what happened: All those dark dots in the southern part of South Dakota are allotments still owned by individual Sioux. All the light spaces are land ceded as “surplus” after allotment, bought by the federal government from the tribes or sold off by individual Indians to non-Indians after the expiration of the period during which the land could not be sold.

It was just another of the land rip-offs. The General Allotment Act reduced Indian land from 138 million acres in 1887 to 48 million acres by 1934 when allotment ended.

Don’t tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

by Meteor Blades

(click here to continue reading Congress Commits an Act of War Against the Great Sioux Nation.)

Written by Seth Anderson

November 18th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

A Battle With the Brewers on Pine Ridge

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Light
Light

I have two thoughts regarding this horrific article as reported by Nicholas Kristof:

Pine Ridge, one of America’s largest Indian reservations, bans alcohol. The Oglala Sioux who live there struggle to keep alcohol out, going so far as to arrest people for possession of a can of beer. But the tribe has no jurisdiction over Whiteclay because it is just outside the reservation boundary.

So Anheuser-Busch and other brewers pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol into the liquor stores of Whiteclay, knowing that it ends up consumed illicitly by Pine Ridge residents and fuels alcoholism, crime and misery there. In short, a giant corporation’s business model here is based on violating tribal rules and destroying the Indians’ way of living.

It’s as if Mexico legally sold methamphetamine and crack cocaine to Americans in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez.

Pine Ridge encompasses one of the poorest counties in the entire United States — Shannon County, S.D. — and life expectancy is about the same as in Afghanistan. As many as two-thirds of adults there may be alcoholics, and one-quarter of children are born suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

In short, this isn’t just about consenting adults. Children are born with neurological damage and never get a chance.

(click here to continue reading A Battle With the Brewers – NYTimes.com.)

The Longhorn Saloon - Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

The Longhorn Saloon – Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

First, Anheuser-Busch aka InBev has long been a sleazy corporation. You don’t give large amounts of corporate donations to scum like the Heartland Institute unless you are a willing tool of Republican agenda, and Anheuser-Busch is a willing tool of the GOP.

More Beautiful Desolation
More Beautiful Desolation

Second, and this is just wild speculation, what would happen if the Pine Ridge Reservation legalized booze sales, but vigorously controlled the sale? Stop selling to obviously intoxicated people, have a quota for how much beer a particular household could purchase in a month, and so on. Try the drug legalization model, in other words, like Switzerland or The Netherlands do (did?). Of course, the slightly-over the county line store would have to be removed, or incorporated into the plan. But isn’t this just as feasible as a public shaming of corporate scum like InBev?

I don’t doubt alcoholism is a big, big problem on the Res, but perhaps there are other ways to tackle this problem. Heroin junkies in Vancouver are allowed to shoot up, but only under watchful eyes of public health officials.

Just days after Canada’s Supreme Court smacked down the ruling Conservative party’s attempts to close Insite, the cutting-edge walk-in safe-injecting clinic in Vancouver, comes the latest volley from harm-reduction advocates north of the border. Over the next three years a new trial will test whether giving heroin addicts access to free, clean opiates can be an effective way to stabilize hardcore users and ultimately entice them into drug treatment.

SALOME (Study to Assess Longer-term Opiate Maintenance Effectiveness) grew out of the earlier NAOMI (North American Opiate Maintenance Initiative) study. whose conclusions were similar to those of similar trials in Switzerland, Germany and other highly evolved nations: “Heroin-assisted therapy proved to be a safe and highly effective treatment for people with chronic, treatment-refractory heroin addiction. Marked improvements were observed including decreased use of illicit “street” heroin, decreased criminal activity, decreased money spent on drugs, and improved physical and psychological health,” as NAOMI’s authors wrote.

Unlike the earlier trial, the focus of SALOME is not on heroin prescribing. With the Conservative government’s panties already in a bunch over injecting rooms, a less controversial alternative to handing out heroin had to be foundt. The solution?  Hydromorphone (trade name Dilaudid), a legally available painkiller whose effects are almost indistinguishable from heroin—not a surprise given that it is synthesized from morphine. “There’s less of a stigma, less of an aura, around hydromorphone, and it’s legally available,” said British Columbia’s medical health officer, Perry Kendall. “In Switzerland and Germany, they don’t have a problem with treating people with heroin, but here we do.”

(click here to continue reading Junkies Get Free, Clean Heroin Alternative in Vancouver Trial | The Fix.)

What do you think? Could this work for alcohol too? Of course, this is idle speculation, and as long as the GOP is around, public health initiatives will get short shrift.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 6th, 2012 at 8:10 am

The Longhorn Saloon – Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

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The Longhorn Saloon - Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota
The Longhorn Saloon – Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

I kid you not, this *is* Main Street, in Scenic, South Dakota, right outside of the Badlands. Unfortunately, I did not have time to stop in for a beer.

[ maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=Rapid+City,+SD&dad… ]

Next time.

I think the sign says, “Indians Allowed”. Check out the large version to read the lettering (though since I enlarged a small crop, it is a little “soft”)

from 2008. Apparently it is for sale. No, not just the Longhorn Saloon, but the whole town:

For less than the price of a one bedroom apartment in much of Manhattan, you can buy a whole town in South Dakota. The catch: it’s right on the edge of the remote Badlands, 50 miles from the nearest town of any size. The population is 9.

One-time rodeo star Twila Merrill, owner of 12-acre Scenic, South Dakota is selling up due to an illness. According to Coldwell Banker agent Dave Olsen, everything in Scenic (“so-called because it’s beautiful,” he said), is included in the sale: an old-fashioned Western saloon, two shops, and a dancehall, among other buildings. They mostly date back to the town’s 1906 founding, and Olsen hopes the new owner will preserve them as relics of the Old West.

Scenic has been on the market for two months, but there wasn’t much interest beyond local business people until the Rapid City Journal filed a story on the listing on Monday. In the last 24 hours, CNN and ABC got in on the act, and a shocked Olsen told Forbes that the international press is descending on tiny Scenic.

(click here to continue reading Entire South Dakota Town For Sale For $799,000 – Clare O’Connor – Filthy Rich – Forbes.)

Written by swanksalot

July 27th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Dreams of the Lattice Work

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Dreams of the Lattice Work, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Sheep Mountain plateau, The Badlands

[view large, or click here: www.b12partners.net/photoblog/index.php?showimage=154 ]

Using my graduated filter (can see the edges on the larger view)

I am not sure what the title means, but it meant something when I used it.

Written by swanksalot

November 10th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with ,

The Wide Open Road

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The Wide Open Road, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

This was really the highlight of my month, maybe my year. I didn’t really plan to go to Sheep Mountain, but on a whim took a side road at Scenic, South Dakota (ha, insider joke, more on that later), and ended up here. Didn’t see another human for many hours, no signs of humans either.

From Google Maps

This is a rarely-used spot in the Stronghold Unit portion of Badlands National Park. A 4WD vehicle is necessary to drive up on top of the table, which was used for tribal meetings. Now it lets the visitor enjoy a spectacular view of the badlands to the north and east, and experience a spot not easily reached by many Badlands visitors.

[view large for full effect: www.b12partners.net/photoblog/ ]

Written by swanksalot

September 18th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

No Hunting or Shooting

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No Hunting or Shooting, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Sign reads:
No Hunting or Shooting
and
Firearms Prohibited Unless Cased and Unloaded

at the entrance the Badlands National Park.

I’m surprised nobody has shot the sign full of holes…

Though as Rob points out, the sign is awfully new and shiny, like it was recently replaced.

Written by swanksalot

September 11th, 2008 at 8:25 am

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,