Analytic Memo 

Analytic Memo

The analytical discussion question I created is: why is it important for the Dakota and Lakota people to have a movement against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Since April 2016, the Standing rock Sioux tribal led people in helping stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). This is a pipeline meant to facilitate transportation if crude oil from Dakota to Illinois. According to the Dakota and Lakota people, the pipeline is seen as a means of risking the quality of water and destructing the culture of the people. The construction is seen to have already interfered with places which are significant to the culture of the people such as sites where ancestors were buried. Investors of the pipeline claim that their aim is to gain profit by providing an alternative and cheaper means of transportation other than the train. Advocates of the pipeline state that the pipeline is environmental friendly and is an avenue where jobs will be created for people. It is however unclear how all the claims of the advocates will be achieved.

Upon presentation of the case on preliminary injunction of the construction by people from Dakota, the judge opined against the request. His claims were that the Army corps of Engineers and Energy transfer partners did not take their time to investigate the risks associated with the construction during their evaluation. They instead put their reliance on processes of assessments, communication modes and consultants from the outside that are said to not put interest on indigenous people on the forefront. The rapporteur of the United Nations who stands for the indigenous people’s rights insists that the United States should have respect people’s right to free consent.

The writer views the action of ignoring the interests of the people. An injustice is a situation where one or more groups of people aim to accomplish their own political, economic or cultural gains by continually causing harm to other people (Pows, 2017). The write applies the concept of settler colonialism to explain why DAPL was built along land and water which are significant aspects of the Dakota and Lakota people. A history of settler colonialism exists among the people living in that community.

Dakota people have always maintained healthy diplomatic relations with indigenous people living in woodlands and plains of North America. Everything was working out well until the United states dishonored the relationship that existed between the people of Bison and the Dakota and Lakota people. They began engaging in overharvesting bison to get furs which they would ship to far markets.  The United States settlers also began moving to areas where the Dakota ad Lakota people had established their own social, political, cultural and economic relations. The interests of the settlers were based on mining of gold, trading and farming. With time, the US settlers managed to dominate the Dakota and Lakota people. They sent their children to far away schools and ensured that they were divested of their culture, knowledge and norms. They replaced this by equipping them with technical skills that would assist the settlers in their occupations.

After experiencing such an ordeal with the U S settlers, the Dakota and Lakota people feel the right to fight against the DAPL business. It is a settler business adventure which aims to interfere with the way of life of these people. Indigenous suffering is a result of interfering with conditions of the environment. Movements such as the #NoDAPL should be established to ensure that issues in fighting for the rights of the indigenous people are addressed.


Pows.,k.w(2017) The Dakota Access Pipeline, Environmental Justice, and US Colonialism

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