Seeds: The people native to the United States of America have been downtrodden and forgotten. They have been murdered, culturally cleansed, and generally treated as second class citizens. Specifically, the Sioux tribe of North Dakota have been denied land populated by their ancestors for centuries. In 1876, the US government started the Great Sioux War in order to acquire the Black Hills after gold was discovered there. The land remains in the possession of the US despite a Supreme Court ruling in 1980 that declared that the land was taken unjustly from the Native Americans. As a result, the federal government was ordered to repay the Sioux as compensation for the land. The Sioux refused the money, arguing that they do not seek compensation, but ownership of the Black Hills.
Core: The Black Hills in North Dakota have recently entered the news cycle due to the start of construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (more commonly known as the DAPL). The DAPL would essentially be a method of transportation for crude oil that would pass through four states, more specifically, it would pass through the Black Hills, along with many sites that hold great religious and cultural significance to the Sioux. If that weren’t enough damage, the DAPL were to break, oil would leak into the Missouri River, poisoning their only water source.
Skin: Over the past few months there have been huge protestors fighting against the DAPL and eventually, they convinced the Army to seek an alternative route for the line. Similar to this, the Keystone XL (an oil pipeline that would run from Canada to Nebraska) was protested earlier in 2015 and President Obama rejected the pipeline.
Leaves: Today, President Trump signed executive orders that backed both the Keystone XL and the DAPL. He says that he wants to reopen the projects and renegotiate their terms. Also, he has frozen grants to the EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency works on everything from clean drinking water to pollution) and told many governmental agencies to freeze their social media usage (including National Parks, the Department of Agriculture, and more).
Food For Thought: What do you think about the executive actions? Do you think it was okay for President Trump to tell governmental organizations to stop tweeting? Do you think the Sioux tribe has a right to the land? Should the federal government halt construction of the DAPL?
Think we missed something? Tell us in the comments.