Tribes mount occupation to block North Dakota pipeline
ALONG THE CANNONBALL RIVER, N.D. — Long before Lewis and Clark paddled by, American Indians built homes at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, using the thick earth to guard against brutal winters and hard summer heat. They were called the Mandan people.
Now, American Indians are living there again. They sleep in teepees and nylon tents. They ride horses and drive quad cabs. They string banners between trees and, when they can get a signal, they post messages with hashtags such as #ReZpectOurWater, #NoDakotaAccess and #NODAPL. For weeks, they have been arriving from the scattered patches of the United States where the government put their ancestors to protest what they say is one indignity too many in a history that has included extermination and exploitation.
It is called the Dakota Access oil pipeline and it could carry more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the Bakken region of western North Dakota across South Dakota and Iowa to connect with an existing pipeline in Illinois.