Written by Robert Redford: Robert Redford is an actor, director and trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Something all too familiar is happening in North Dakota right now: Once again, Native Americans are being asked to accept a raw deal.

The short version is this: a private energy company, Energy Transfer Partners, is building a pipeline that runs from North Dakota to Illinois like a 1,200-mile zipper that cuts across four states. If completed, the Dakota Access Pipeline will carry nearly half a million barrels of oil each day across the watersheds the Standing Rock Sioux tribe use for drinking water. Now, thousands of Native Americans have gathered at one of the most controversial sections of the proposed pipeline’s path and are staging a 24/7 protest. They’ve created a settlement in the middle of their North Dakota home to try to prevent the pipeline from being finished.

The pipeline’s existence and its proposed path are each “legal,” of course. Permits were filed. Proposals were considered. A previous route much closer to Bismarck—a primarily white city—was scrapped amid concerns for its citizens’ health and well-being, and a new “more acceptable” route was carved through the home of the Standing Rock Sioux. In short, it’s the business as usual that helps private corporations get what they want in most of the United States, often at the expense of Native Americans.

But if this is legal, one must seriously question the laws of the land. They are laws that prioritize the profits of energy companies over the rights of people who actually have to live on the land, drink its water and eat its food.

The net result is that yet another Native American tribe is being asked to suffer yet again for the “good” of the rest of the country.

But who is this deal good for? There is one winner (Energy Transfer Partners) and about 7 billion losers (everyone else). Climate change is altering how we think about resource use forever, because bad resource use now affects every single one of us. Once burned, the carbon that the proposed DPAL pipeline carried will continue warming our world for years.

We can’t go back in time. We can’t unburn the carbon we’ve burnt—just as we can’t go back in time and change how we as a nation treated Native Americans. But what we can do is try, with all of our might, to break from our country’s tradition of deception and dishonesty in its treatment of its native people, and our deception and dishonesty about the true costs of fossil fuels. Often times—as is the case with the DAPL pipeline—the two are intertwined.

The time has come to recognize and name the fossil fuel industry for what it is: a clear and present danger to the health, prosperity and national security of all of our nation’s people.

National Security? Yes. A recent article in the New York Times reveals that because of climate change many cities on our Eastern Seaboard—including Norfolk, Virginia, home of Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base—are having to cope with regular floods that 100 years ago were unheard of.

The Standing Rock protest is trying to prevent a pipeline from being built in North Dakota. But what we need to ask ourselves sooner rather than later is this: Should new pipelines be built at all? Thousands of people are actually going to North Dakota to support the Sioux. But anyone can help in other ways. You can give money. You can contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund or to the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme account. You can give time by making phone calls. Call North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200 and politely share your opinion, or call the White House at 202-456-1111 and politely tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Though not all of us are able to go to North Dakota and actually stand with Standing Rock, we can stand united. We can be a sea of people, rising up together to prevent the seas from rising and our history of mistreatment of Native Americas from repeating. The Sioux people of North Dakota aren’t just fighting for their homes and their water. They’re fighting for our homes and water, our families and futures, our children’s chances for a habitable home.
 Written by Robert Redford for Time Magazine

Responses to "Robert Redford: I Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux"

  1. yowanka says:

    I really do wish people would unite under one banner of humanity & common sense, not greed. There is a way to build a propetual motion engine using magnetics & NO oil or gas. I saw one & spoke with the young man that built it. He was later killed and his invention disappeared. I think if someone would study Teslas ideas they could easily figure it out. They're trying to build similar to gas stations to sell us hydrogen fuel, (that comes free in safer water) & places to pay to plug in your electric car. I think I'll go solar. Cheaper! Cleaner! Nothing greedy about what we've been given free.

  2. The Great Change

    And as we live, our world just now. The Great Change marked by this occasion.

    Our Earth is one, just one for all. Our tone removed, we hope from pasts.

    Take pride in prayer for new horizons. Our ancestors real, our Cody real.

    Don't fear or smear, seek unity, fix enemy. As New Dawn comes and claims our weak souls.

    Stand high, fist high with love and purpose. One Earth, just one Earth is civilizations’ last justice.

    Robert Reddick, September 2, 2016

  3. Anonymous says:

    As old film dialog, Which was not PC, would say:"Whiteman speak with forked tounge"!
    Our self righteous politicians talk about honor but our government has broken most of the Treaties our Government has made with indigenous people. While the Dakota land mess is going on Jeff Flake &John McCain are steeling land from the San Carlos Apache land and giving it to a mining company. America needs to learn to live with honor like we like to judgmental about, with regard to the rest of the planet!
    Hypocrisy is not what our Constitution represents.
    Indigenous people are also United States Citizens.


  5. The Natives are technically protesting, I guess, but they prefer protectors. They are gathering peacefully to protect Mother Earth.
    Much land was put into.a trust.....with the government as trustee making the decisions about this land. They have made decisions, too many times, that are favorable to white people but are not in the interest of the Natives. The trustee is suppose to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people for whom the trust was made.
    Thank you for contribution of your wisdom on this subject. Many, many people feel the same as you. Then there are those who don't. Guess who they are. The greedy ones. Oil will someday be finite at the rate we are taking it from Mother Earth. The ONLY ones benefitting from this project is the oil company. We all need to call the numbers presented above.

  6. nancyn says:

    sacralità, il mondo.grazie Signor Redford per quello che fai per il nostro mondo

  7. nancyn says:

    se tutti gli uomini dessero il loro contributo tutto il mondo sarebbe salvo.

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