It may be happening thousands of miles away but there is much about the Dakota Access pipeline controversy that is of interest to Irish readers.
Two things I’d like to focus on here…first, the coverage by The Guardian. It may be a British paper but there is so much mistrust towards national media in the US that now many are turning to them for some semblance of truth in their reporting, and they are certainly working hard to provide it.
I listen to several US progressive podcasts like Best of the Left, The Young Turks, Democracy Now etc and all have quoted the publication often affectionately known as “The Guarniad” because if its supposed reputation for frequent typos.
Back in August a piece by Iyuskin American Horse in Canyon Ball, North Dakota was published titled “‘We are protectors, not protesters’: why I’m fighting the North Dakota pipeline“. It offers the native Americans’ side of the story.
The fact that Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, would use the word “Dakota”, which means “friend” or “ally”, in the name of its project is disrespectful. This pipeline is a direct threat to all Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people, especially our future generations. And we are not the only ones. We know that burning this oil is changing our climate and Indigenous people all over the world are bearing the brunt of the catastrophes that causes.
The other interesting aspect of this story is that of the black snake.
Our elders have told us that if the zuzeca sape, the black snake, comes across our land, our world will end. Zuzeca has come – in the form of the Dakota Access pipeline – and so I must fight.
I have absolutely no reason not to believe that American Indians have a legend of a black snake that was going to cross their land. But it would certainly not surprise me if the oil barons and their sympathisers who would be keen to push this pipeline through raised doubts as to the validity of the folklore.
Well all I can say is that even if they did make it up, it’s nothing compared to the amount of shite big oil corporations fabricate to get past environmental studies and judicial processes in order to get the profits flowing in their direction as quickly as possible.
Best of luck to Iyuskin American Horse and his people. May the Black Snake be driven away from their sacred land for all eternity.
Meanwhile, we could probably do with an external journalists source focusing on Irish affairs in a similar fashion to that of the Guardian.