Profanation of sacred lands

Tensions in North Dakota began to appear this summer when it was announced that an oil pipeline will pass below the Missouri River and close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Since the then protests have escalated quickly thanks to many activists and ordinary people joined the Native Americans within their efforts to stop the pollution of fresh water resource and also the profanation of the sacred land where Native Americans buried their families. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault pointed that the pipeline will be situated on the land which belongs to the Native Americans under the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.

Abuse of power

It seems that the authorities' efforts to oppose protests have failed, and has come to represent extra motivation for the protest. Friday only 33 people were arrested after they entered into a mall and formed a circle to pray, in total more than 500 people have been arrested since August when protests began to escalate. The last event which showed the authorities' aggression took place Monday when the local law enforcement used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons, although the temperature was below freezing. After the confrontations from Monday, 26 people were hospitalized and hundreds were injured, according to Standing Rock & Healer Physician Council.

Decision after Thanksgiving

The reason why the evacuation order has been issued is to protect the general public from the violence between protesters and law enforcement officials and also to prevent injuries, illnesses and even deaths due to cold weather conditions. Archambault said the tribe is very disappointed by this decision, but their struggle to protect sacred lands and water will not cease.

Sadly, this decision comes after the American people celebrated Thanksgiving, a day meant to remind us of the suffering caused by the European colonizers to indigenous people. Clearly, the evacuation order will not succeed to put an end to protests because Americans tend to protect native traditions and their land. Let's hope that no more people will be injured in the new protests.