Saturday, September 10, 2016

Not lying down at Standing Rock

I have been following - from a terribly safe distance - events at Standing Rock, North Dakota, where Sioux are opposing a pipeline they say threatens their land and waters.

Red Warrior Camp in southern North Dakota was set up to back the Standing Rock Sioux Nation's fight against an oil pipeline, and has swelled as thousands show up in support. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

I've relied on Idle No More FB posts to keep informed as thousands of supporters have flooded into the area, risking threats and provocation from security personnel (footage of attacks by dogs is particularly visceral).

Just today a decision has come down from on high as the Dept. of Justice, Army and the Interior Department announced construction will pause near Lake Oahe, which is a major source of the Missouri River and an important place for Standing Rock Sioux. 

I couldn't help but compare this to a relatively minor but still gut-wrenching, shit-troubling lack of decision by the NZ Dept of Conservation who refused to a) maintain, and then b) halt demolition of a Heritage listed building at Waikaremoana


It seems the building was caught between a newly established Tribal structure (with truly exciting potential - I emphasise potential - for managing Indigenous land and resources) and mana whenua who have yet to be given the voice we are due.

Anyways, much to ponder. At this stage, awesome achievement at Standing Rock and shameful blundering at Aniwaniwa...

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Simon Lambert

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