Year 4, Month 5, Day 30: ________, And Thanks For The Memories

Heavy times in Rapid City, South Dakota:

Tribal representatives walked out of a meeting today with Department of State officials who came to Rapid City to discuss concerns about the Keystone pipeline project and its potential impact on sites sacred to the tribes, according to a press release from the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The press release went on to say that “tribal, traditional and community members from the Lakota, Ponca, and Pawnee declared the meeting a sham. Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer made a statement dismissing the gathering as a sham because no leadership of the United States was present.”

Instead, the press release said, the “Obama administration sent low level clerks to meet with our tribal and treaty leaders. This disrespect to the provisions of the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty between the Lakota, Arapahoe, Cheyenne and the United States, as well as violations to international law and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, will not be tolerated.”

In the eyes of our corporate overlords, we are all disposable. May 18:

The treatment accorded to Native American tribal leaders in the negotiations over the Keystone XL is essentially identical to that offered American citizens in general. While the tribes are justifiably suspicious, given that the US Government has a long history of making promises it doesn’t keep, we need to understand that another and all-but-unstoppable force involved the ongoing pipeline controversy which has occupied the halls of Congress and the corridors of federal and state governments. The overwhelmingly powerful corporate interests whose profits will increase further with Keystone’s completion are equally ready to promise impossibilities to all American citizens.

They promise the pipeline won’t leak, and if it does leak, they promise to clean it up. They promise that climate change won’t be impacted by extracting and burning the tar sands — and they also promise that climate change won’t damage the pipeline. They promise that the project will bring economic well-being to the US, and end our dependence on foreign oil. Given their dismal track record on all these issues, and the essentially nonexistent penalties for failing to deliver, the fossil fuel industry could promise even more. Approve the pipeline, and everybody gets a pony!

Warren Senders

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