Peaceful Native American water protectors were attacked by dogs and pepper sprayed by private security hired by Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners. Police witnessed the attacks and did nothing. Police claim the protectors were “trespassing” and harming oil workers. It is no surprise that police cooperate with private security to violate the civil rights of peaceful demonstrators. In Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army Jeremy Scahill warned of private security co-opting state police power. Eight years after the publication of the revised version one sees the chilling effects ; hat dogs were used to attack peaceful Native Americans protecting their treaty lands, cultural sites, and natural resource is a continuity of colonial violence that began with Christopher Columbus.

History of colonial violence against Native Americans

The atrocities committed by Columbus and the conquistadors against indigenous peoples are well documented. One example was montería infernal, in which Indians were hunted by Spanish war dogs. It was said that the dogs were fed human flesh. What could the Indians have done to deserve such torture? They dared to stand in the way of the Spanish lust for gold. Today, what could the Indians be doing that justifies being attacked by dogs and pepper sprayed? They dare stand in the way of the black gold that these conquistadors of crude lust after. Five hundred years later the same greed leads to the use of dogs.

Native Americans are not trespassing on their own lands

Claims of trespassing are false. The protectors are citizens of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) of the Sioux Nation. The Sioux, also known as the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota, have lived in their territory since time immemorial. Furthermore, the United States recognized the territorial rights of the Sioux Nation, as well as other Native American nations, by signing the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851. The United states violated the treaty and the Sioux Nation militarily defeated the United States in what is known as Red Cloud's War, the Bozeman War, or Powder River War, forcing the United States to recognize Oceti Sakowin territorial rights in a new 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty. Over one hundred years later in 1980 the United States Supreme Court affirmed the territorial rights of the Sioux Nation, offering financial compensation. The Sioux Nation refused the award of monetary damages and continues to demand the recognition of its territory under the terms of the original Ft. Laramie Treaty. They do not recognize the infamous “Chicago rewrite” which was rewritten in secret without the knowledge, input, or legal assent of the citizens of the Oceti Sakowin. The territorial rights of the Oceti Sakowin or Sioux Nation have been consistently acknowledged under United States domestic law.

Article VI of the US Constitution states that treaties are the “supreme law of the land.” If true, treaties made by the United States with Native American nations are constitutionally inviolable. The United States may respond to Native American treaty rights and constitutional violations through contrived legal fictions like plenary power to unilaterally abrogate treaties and the Discovery Doctrine alleging the Sioux Nation never had legal title to its lands. These legal fictions are based on antiquated legal racism and religious bigotry that began with Columbus. The 1823 case Johnson v. McIntosh made the racist Discovery Doctrine part of the domestic law of the United States. This case and federal Indian laws are what allow the legacy of colonial violence against indigenous peoples to continue in the 21st Century. Ending colonial violence begins by the total repudiation of the Discovery Doctrine. Five hundred years of violence against indigenous peoples is enough. #Environment #Police Brutality