You should shield your eyes from this post and skip to the next one. If you are going read, prepare to be blinded at its horribleness

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Brandon Kok

Mrs. Dowty

April 25, 2017

English Research Paper

In the book by Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the main character named Arnold Junior Spirit, is by birthright an Indian who lives on a small reservation with many government and benefaction problems as a real reservation would have. In the book this is shown many times in the book, for example, when Arnold’s dentist “believed that Indians only felt half as much pain as white people did, so he gave us half the Novocain.”(Alexie 2). In real life the US government, as of 2017, is influencing a disturbance near Native American Sacred Land in Dakota.

The government plans to construct a 1,172-mile long pipeline which would replace the cargo trains that transports crude oil today. The developer of Energy Access Partners (ETP) claims that this 3.7 billion dollar project “would shuttle 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day which is enough to make 374.3 million gallons of gasoline everyday,” (Aisch). This project, the director of Dakota Access Pipeline claims, can establish from 8 thousand to 12 thousand more construction jobs. However, this pipeline will cross the Sioux Tribe’s Sacred Line and can cause water pollution across 22 different points along the multi-state pipeline (Aisch).

This project will make transporting crude oil significantly safer than trains and much more efficient. Although the pipeline is steered away from residential areas, the pipeline will pass through many private properties so land owners will get paid for the land used by the Dakota Access Pipeline (Wikipedia). Trump believes this 3.7 billion dollar project will ‘serve the national interest’ and ordered an ‘expedited’ review.(Staff) On the same day, current US president Trump signed another memo that construction and repair of pipelines would use steel and iron that has been made in the United Sates. Trump denies that his actions are “motivated by any financial interest.” (Staff).

Although the pipeline construction is being pushed, it’s suspended because of two reasons. One reasons that at the top of its population, “an estimated 10 thousand people joined the campsites” (Staff) protesting at Lake Oahe, Mississippi River, and at the Des Moines River crossing . Native americans have complained about the contamination of major water supplies and additionally damage to ancestral lands and burial grounds (Harris). The project is suspended because reason two: Farmers and ecologists have spoken out about land disturbances and contamination of water at the Mississippi River for those who rely on that source clean water. “Farmers are also concerned about leaks in the pipeline caused by destabilization in certain areas prone to flooding, which could cause an environmental disaster” (Wikipedia). According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials safety Administration, 2010, there’s a total of 203 leaks disclosed and “total of 3,406 barrels (143,100 US gal; 541.5 m3) of crude oil spilled”. (Wikipedia)

Protesting has drawn international attention with mainstream media coverage of events since September 2016. Incidents where police have been “accused” for use of excessive force for example drenching the protesters with pepper spray or freezing water, firing of sound cannons, and the shooting of bean bag rounds and rubber bullets have been viewed  by the Youtube community and other social media (Staff). These officers have arrested hundreds of people like accused activists, journalists, criminal trespassing, rioting and many other punishable causes. In response, the rioters have been staring fires and tossing petrol bombs at nation workers. In one instance, there was the firing of a gun to attempt to get protesters off private property which lead to the Colorado woman to be arrested and charged for attempted murder (Staff).

In The Absolute Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior is constantly under the pressure of the reservation’s hopelessness and the governments incapably to discern their priorities. Governments make their decisions upon economics and consequences but normally only think of the majority: mainly white people. But what of the minority: in this case, the Native Americans? 

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Source Cited: 

Aisch, Gregor, and K. K. Rebecca Lai. “The Conflicts Along 1,172 Miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/23/us/dakota-access-pipeline- protest-map.html>.

Alexie, Sherman, and Ellen Forney. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown, 2007. Print.

Harris, Kate, and Michael Gonchar. “Battle Over an Oil Pipeline: Teaching About the Standing Rock Sioux Protests.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Nov. 2016. Web. 6 Apr. 2017. <https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/learning/lesson-plans/battle-over-an-oil-pipeline-teaching-about-the-standing-rock-sioux-protests.html?_r=0>.

Staff. “Dakota Pipeline: What’s behind the Controversy?” BBC News. BBC, 07 Feb. 2017. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37863955>.

Wikipedia contributors. “Dakota Access Pipeline.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Apr. 2017. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.

Yan, Holly. “Dakota Access Pipeline: What’s at Stake?” Dakota Access Pipeline: What’s at Stake? Cable News Network, 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017. <http://www.cnn.com/ 2016/09/07/us/dakota-access-pipeline-visual-guide/>.