The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent executive order reviving the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project has caused a resurgence of dissent.
Upon having its planned course re-routed near the drinking water source of the Standing Rock reservation in 2015, there has been much controversy surrounding the proposed DAPL.
The pipeline was re-routed after initial plans to have it run near Bismarck, N.D., were scrapped due to concerns about the potential impact on the drinking water.
In addition to the source water protection issue, members of the Standing Rock tribe have opposed the proposed changes in the DAPL’s route because it would cross lands of sacred significance to the Sioux Nation.
This prompted the nation to establish the Sacred Stone Camp, as a way to physically protest the proposed pipeline.
These protests became international news due to criticism of use of force by local law enforcement agencies.
With the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ruling Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation behind DAPL, needed to review alternative routes, the issue was seemingly resolved.
However, with this most recent development, there has been a revival in mass protests against the pipeline project.
How Does This Connect to Canada?
The Aamjiwnaang First Nation, outside of Sarnia, has 60 industrial facilities within a 25-kilometre radius that exposes those living there to harmful chemical pollutants.
Residents believe the exposure to these pollutants has resulted in the unusually low male birth rates.
The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation has currently taken Enbridge to the Supreme Court to fight against the company’s proposed pipeline, Line 9.
The Chippewas of the Thames alleges the government failed to properly consult them, which they claim is a violation of treaty rights.
As of Jan. 2015, 126 First Nations communities had water-advisory warnings in effect.
Niagara News spoke with three First Nations Niagara College students, for their thoughts on Standing Rock:
Name: Andrea Campos Nation: Ojibwe Program: First-year Occupational Therapist
“ It is a very peaceful protest; the warmth you feel from our people and that we’re not there for violence. We’re not there with violence. We’re not there with anything. We’re there with our words. ”
Name: Faith Redsky Nation: Shoal Lake 40 Program: Pre-Health Sciences
“People keep saying that it’s over, but considering (Trump’s election promises and order) it’s an on-going thing. And I feel like a lot of people don’t know about it or don’t want to pay attention to it.”
Name: Trevor Glode Nation: Mi’kmaw Program: First-year Business
“If (the government) can’t work with natives to figure out how to do their pipeline and how to figure out what to do and what not to do and it’s all about the mighty dollar, then that’s wrong because that’s our land.”