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A person walks past smoke from a cooking fire at an encampment during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 9, 2016 [Image: Reuters/Stephanie Keith].

A person walks past smoke from a cooking fire at an encampment during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 9, 2016 [Image: Reuters/Stephanie Keith].


It’s a valid question.

The Native Americans on the Standing Rock reservation may be descended from the land’s original inhabitants, but that seems unlikely to make an impression on Donald Trump – or his supporters.

Already we have heard accounts of incidents in which people belonging to minority groups have been told to “get out of our country” (their country?) by people who seem to believe in white supremacy.

Why should the Native Americans escape the same fate?

And, if Donald Trump demands the completion of the pipeline, despite the arguments against it, won’t he be playing into the hands of the racists?

Won’t he be either endorsing their behaviour or, at the very least, giving them an excuse to justify it?

Think on it, America.

The surprising victory by Native American and environmental groups in September to delay the Dakota Access Pipeline may turn out to be short-lived, after Donald Trump’s unexpected win in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump backs measures to speed energy industry development and upgrade the country’s oil and gas infrastructure. He has not commented specifically on the $3.7 billion Dakota Access line but has said he would seek to revive another controversial pipeline, the Keystone XL line. That project, which would pump oil from Canada through Nebraska, was rejected in 2014 by the Obama administration.

The 1,172-mile (1,885 km) line was planned to run from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region to Illinois, but protests from environmental activists and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota galvanized the Obama administration to delay construction to ensure Native American concerns about the line’s route were properly addressed.

One day after Trump’s victory, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said the results show “that we as a country have so much work to do.” He did not mention Trump in his statement to Reuters, instead saying President Barack Obama could still halt the pipeline.

“We must strengthen our resolve to protect the water, pray together for understanding, and pour our hearts and minds into the future of all our children,” he said.

It is not clear now whether Dakota Access would be rerouted or piped under the sensitive watershed, which the tribe considers sacred.

Source: Trump victory a new challenge for Dakota pipeline protesters | Reuters

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