Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

What Oil Pipelines Can Do to Native American Land and Life


Black, ant-like figures crown a russet hill ringed by the Cannonball River at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. Soon they come into focus: dozens of policemen in full riot gear, stationed on high ground so as to better surveil the handful of people lingering in the aftermath of what Native Americans protesting a new oil pipeline and their allies call a "direct action," or a confrontation with the law.

On closer inspection of the hilltop from the ground across the river, at least two officers are peering through rifle scopes. Others seem jovial, laughing as they wave contemptuously to the few demonstrators lingering on the far side of the river. Most glare back, stone-faced. One girl in a flowing purple skirt raises two fingers, flashing a peace sign. A black-clad young man with a long, glossy braid and a bandanna draped over the lower half of his face gives the cops the finger.


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