Are Environmentalists Using Native Americans, and Does It Matter?
In an unprecedented show of inter-tribal cooperation not seen, according to one elder, since the Battle of Big Horn, thousands of activists from at least 200 Native American tribes have gathered in a remote part of North Dakota to protest the construction of a new oil pipeline.
Thousands more have joined them in support: dramatic moments of protesters tying themselves to bulldozers are streaming live on Facebook. A huge campground—dubbed Sacred Stone Camp—comes complete with sweat lodges and schools. Local law enforcement, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the protest, have asked neighboring counties for reinforcements.
But what is this protest really about? In fact, the motives are mixed, and often in tension with one another.