The three ironies of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests

Guest post by David Middleton


Dakota Access Protest Backfires For Standing Rock

By Irina Slav – Feb 22, 2017

The months-long protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline project has seriously hurt the revenues of a casino operated by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe – the tribe that initiated the protests as a portion of the DAPL will pass through its territory.

The casino is facing a shortfall of US$6 million, in part because the protests blocked the main road leading customers from towns in the area to the complex, according to tribal officials involved in running the business. The casino funds social programs across the Standing Rock territory and the shortfall is certain to be felt in the community.

Despite the tribe’s best efforts and the help of other Native American tribes and environmental groups, the Dakota Access got the go-ahead from the White House earlier this month after President Trump signed an executive order allowing the US$3.8-billion project to proceed. The U.S. Army agreed to issue the final permit for the project, allowing construction to start.


Irony #1

Hoisted by their own petard

Life is pretty rough on the Standing Rock Reservation:

Life on the Reservation: The main economic activities on the Standing Rock Reservation are cattle ranching and farming. The Tribe has established various industries including a fairly successful casino and some light industry. Despite these efforts to establish greater economic activity on the Reservation, tribal members still face high unemployment and poverty. As a matter of principle, the Standing Rock tribes never complied with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1935 and therefore do not receive their full share of government funding. This lack of government dollars, meager per capita income, and high unemployment intensify the housing and health problems on the Reservation. Many residents live in remote areas, far away from medical care and healthy food. Housing, both in remote areas and in towns, is in short supply, forcing many families to live in overcrowded conditions.

American Indian Relief Council

Since they refused to comply with the Indian Reorganization Act, they don’t receive “their full share of government funding.”  One of the few economic bright spots for the tribes was the construction of two casinos.  Government and tribal enterprises, which include the casinos, account for 59% of the jobs and 88% of the income on the reservation.

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Revenue declines at Standing Rock Sioux casino

The Standing Rock Sioux initiated the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).


Protesters help block the construction sites at Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The protests are led by the Standing Rock Sioux, who say their drinking water is immediately threatened by the pipeline. Tribal members from numerous tribes turn up in support. With protest numbers increasing to the thousands, Greg Wilz, division director of homeland security, orders the removal of state-owned water tanks and trailers that had been providing protest camps with drinking water. During a court hearing, pipeline officials claim the project is already 48 percent complete.

Mother Jones

The Standing Rock Sioux’s protest crippled the Standing Rock Sioux’s economy.

Irony #2

The Water Protectors caused the threat to the Standing Rock water supply.

Back in July 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued its preliminary approval for the pipeline’s water crossings…

Question: When was the Final Environmental Assessment for the Missouri River Crossings of the Dakota Access Pipeline released to the public?

Answer: The Finding of No Significant Impact and Final Environmental Assessments were signed and released to the public the week of July 25, 2016.


The approvals were based on civil engineering principles.

In September, a Federal judge “denied the tribe’s request to block construction of the entire pipeline.” This is when the Obama maladministration, with absolutely no engineering basis, decided “that further analysis was warranted given the tribe’s concerns.

Then in November, the Department of the Army overrode USACE because they felt bad about how the Sioux were treated in the 1800’s…

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.

US Army

While the U.S. government was assisting the Water Protectors, the Water Protectors created the only genuine threat to their water supply…

Standing Rock Protest Camp, Once Home to Thousands, Is Razed

By MITCH SMITH FEB. 23, 2017

MANDAN, N.D. — The final holdouts at the sprawling pipeline protest camp south of here were arrested Thursday, and the authorities began using heavy equipment to tear down the remaining structures and clear debris on the federally owned land where thousands had lived in recent months.

The arrests, of 46 people, came a day after an evacuation deadline issued by Gov. Doug Burgum. Most protesters left Wednesday of their own volition, and others departed Thursday by crossing the frozen Cannonball River to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Those who remained at the main campsite were taken into custody.


The North Dakota authorities said the closing of the main protest camp, which sits on Army Corps of Engineers land, was necessary to prevent pollution during imminent spring floods. The protest site had developed into a make-do city, with semipermanent buildings, medical tents and abandoned cars. If that washed into the Missouri River, the authorities said, the results could be damaging to the environment.

“I think you can see the enormous accumulation of garbage and human waste that’s been piled up down there,” Mr. Burgum said, citing observations from social media videos.


NY Times

The protest against a mythical threat to the Standing Rock water supply created a genuine threat to the Standing Rock water supply.

Irony #3

DAPL didn’t cross Indian lands; it followed an existing pipeline route.

The pipeline doesn’t cross Standing Rock Sioux or any other Indian lands.

The alleged “sacred burial grounds” are on private property…

Sacred Burial Ground Sold to Dakota Access



Cannonball Ranch in North Dakota has been sold to Dakota Access LLC. The ranch is not the site of the Standing Rock Camp where protectors are taking a stand against the Dakota Access pipeline, but the ranch has hundreds of burials and artifacts.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor…-access-165888

The DAPL follows the route of an existing natural gas pipeline…

Surprise: Dakota Access Pipeline Follows Existing Gas Line Through Protested Area


In the most ironic irony of all, the Promise Keeper defeated the Water Protectors with the stroke of a pen and…





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GREG in Houston

I suppose everyone knows the photograph is from the Alaskan pipeline, not the DAPL.


They would have buried the Alaskan pipeline if not for the worries about the permafrost.
Nobody in their right mind (and sense of security) would elevate a pipeline that could be buried.

Keith J

And the supports for the elevated sections over permafrost utilize a diode heat pipe form of a Perkins Tube. The working fluid boils at low temperature at the bottom of the supports but only when ambient air temp is far subfreezing. That is the purpose of the finned heat exchangers exposed above ground.
This supercools the permafrost preventing heat transfer effects of the structure from melting the ground during the summer. In the warm months, the Perkins Effect shuts down.

Funny how the hydrologic cycle imitates this heat transfer non-linearity. Just like a diode in a circuit blocks reverse flow..

Tom Halla

I saw an op-ed by the chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, and most of his concern was over “treaty lands” the tribe lost in the 19th Century, not environmental concerns.

Where’s faux-a-haunt-us?
She should be helping to save her people and her ancient lands.

Tom Halla

Elisabeth Warren is nowhere on this issue.


Elizabeth Warren is a fake-Cherokee indian, not a fake-Sioux indian.

Caligula Jones

Can’t remember where I read so read into it what you will but:

1) the chief owns a gas station
2) the tribe owns 25 wells
3) the tribe owns a railway (which we know are REALLY safe to transport oil – see: Lac Megantic, Quebec)

Give the tribe credit, though: they are using the usual watermelon Useful Idiots and the MSM to push the agenda.


That is right. The Sioux were invaders who attacked the Utes and other southern tribes as they were raiders who became quite adept at this when they discovered the art of riding horses from the Spanish.


Give her time, TA. Give her time. 😉

Javert Chip

I think she’s whipping up some new “old tribal recipes”, or waiting to copy them from the NYT, or something. Maybe fund raising.

John W. Garrett

I can’t wait for the National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service reports. Where’s Jesse Jackson when you need him?


Who on earth needs Jesse Jackson, John?

The Tribal Leaders have been appropriated as useful tools by the Marxist/Socialist Progressive Democrats.

Their whole rebellion was self-destructive on many levels.

Pop Piasa

“Marxist/Socialist Progressive Democrats”. MSPDs. They hand out the bus and meal tickets so the protests can go on as scheduled. Very hard to get a decent crowd anywhere using locals, so you kind of have to ship in some “mercenaries”.


Jesse Jackson is worried about who is managing the college endowments.
His idea of “green” has nothing to do with nature.

Jesse Jackson is gone, toast. Sadly not because of his huckster type behaviour and the sucking dry of the Black community but because of something that will get all of us, Old age. ( seems to have gotten to that other huckster as well Al Sharptongue or something like that?


JJ?? Hey, it’s cold up there.

What an indescribably ignorant, confused and pointless action by the “intelelctually elite”
morons that comprise the radical enviromental movement. And below it all is the weird notion that oil is only used as a fuel and, further, that stopping the pipeline would somehow cause millions to throw away their car keys and ride the (non-existent) busses to work. Obviously, the whole thing became nothing more than a symbolic action with no discernible logic. Get a load of the invalid logic admitted to by Obozo : studies show their is nothing to merit the stoppage, but since some opose it, we better not proceed. Of course, it all amounted to WHO opposed it. If Republicans had opposed it, it would have been full steam ahead “in the nation’s interests.” The only thing transparent about the Obozo administration was Obozo’s sheer ignorance, covered up by the dozen MSM outlets.


Marxism/Socialism was never a hotbed of rational thought, Arthur.

“Get a load of the invalid logic admitted to by Obozo : studies show their is nothing to merit the stoppage, but since some opose it, we better not proceed. Of course, it all amounted to WHO opposed it.”

It’s the same stupid logic against vetting muslims from every completely filled terrorist countries called the middle east.
If there is no legal way you can stop it, and if you need it stopped, just get a corrupt judge.
It’s cheaper to buy a judge than hire a lawyer.
Somebody’ll take Soros’ money.


Actually, it is ‘romanticism’, with young people who grew up in modern homes playing ‘hippie radicals’ who sing and dance and do magic, etc. Then run home to mommy when things go bad.

Tom Gelsthorpe



“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” ― George Orwell


Behold, the intellectual. Always thinking, never finding out. Forever seeking truth, for if it were found, he would not know what to do with it.


Mostly, it was a bunch of burned-out, aging hippie grifters and their dewy-eyed Millenial wannabes, equally unemployable except at George Soros’ day rate for extras in his astroturfing campaign. And my, what a mess they left! How “green” is THAT? The American voter has seen through all this crap now.

Seems that when the real grassroots people have a gathering They pick up the garbage.


In the case of the Tea Party Republicans, they sometimes left the place cleaner than they found it.


The Marxist/Socialists undertook the protest because their goal is to cause harm to the economy. This is the goal of their whole anti-fossil fuel campaign.


A casino is not my idea of industry. I hope they have learned something from all of this.

Mark from the Midwest

Casinos, when operated with strict business principles in mind, have had a giant upside for some tribes. In Michigan we have 11 or 12 tribes that run casinos, the more successful ones are in prime tourist territory, including Traverse City, Petoskey, Manistee, and the Sault. The casinos are run as resort-casinos, with golf, plenty of amenities, great entertainment, (saw Bobby Caldwell’s Big Band for 12 bucks, Bela Fleck cost us 15 a ticket), etc.

Since the charter of full-blown gaming operations, in the 90′, the tribes have returned 10’s of millions, that’s 10’s of millions to the communities where they are located. They also provide some of the best health care and daycare available anywhere to tribal members, as well as community members in need. In Northern Michigan we’re happy to relieve people from Chicago and Detroit of a substantial portion of their disposable income.


The Indian Tribes in Oklahoma and their casinos are doing very well. You know they are doing well when they make grants of money to the non-Indians living around them. And they do.

Samuel C Cogar

East of Syracuse, ……… west of Utica.

Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Verona, New York

“a revenue-generating enterprise to aid in economic and social development of the Oneida Indian Nation”
comment image

The Turning Stone Resort & Casino is located at 5218 Patrick Road in Verona, New York. The casino floor spans 125,000 square feet and offers over 2,000 slots and video poker machines along with 80 table games and a posh 32 table poker room. Keno is called about every five minutes and the Bingo Hall seats more than 1,000. All casino gambling is open 24 hours a day and available to those 18 and older.

The resort offers 700 guestrooms and suites which can be booked from this page, two full service spas, a fitness center, sportsplex, five associated golf courses, multiple restaurants, bars, and lounges, and two top name concert venues. A nearby RV Park is serviced by casino shuttle.

The 24 hour destination resort is visited by nearly 5 million people each year.

There is another success story, Google Osoyoos Indian band in BC Canada. Their leader is a visionary!

An Inquirer

Mark, Yes. Casinos have been very profitable — because state governments have given Indians a monopoly on offering casinos. It causes me to smile to read that in Minnesota, the #1 lobbyist for our state government is the Indian community. They are spending millions in political capital to protect their monopoly.
Meanwhile, the profit from casinos have benefited some tribes more than others. One issue is location. Another issue is that some smaller tribes require that somebody from the family actually works at the casino before the family gets its share of the profits.

A casino is like a tourist attraction to the locals. It makes money from outside visitors.

Leonard Lane

Agree, Fly, it seems that the casinos often built to fleece the tourists ends up devastating the locals.


But wait! Don’t start it up just yet. Don’t you need a SOCIAL LICENCE to proceed? (Oh sorry, I’m in Canada. That was just a reflex reaction to Junior’s idea of how to proceed with a pipeline).

Johann Wundersamer

The basic controversy is

are the ancestors of Sioux Tribes

first settlers of the Americas:

till this controversy is settled indigenous tribes always will hinder archaeologistic or other intended earth moving on so called ‘holy grounds’.

Johann Wundersamer

My fault.

Real History is soziopathic == unbiased, nonpartisan.

Samuel C Cogar

Johann Wundersamer – March 3, 2017 at 6:19 am

…… till this controversy is settled indigenous tribes always will hinder archaeologistic or other intended earth moving on so called ‘holy grounds’.

Right you are about “holy grounds” …….. but recently discovered scientifically factual evidence has discredited the “Bering Sea land-bridge crossing of the first native Americans” … wit:

Ancient baby DNA discovered in Montana yields new clues to earliest Americans

Read more @

Samuel C Cogar March 4, 2017 at 6:26 am
Right you are about “holy grounds” …….. but recently discovered scientifically factual evidence has discredited the “Bering Sea land-bridge crossing of the first native Americans” … wit:

I suggest you reread that link, you appear to have misunderstood it, it explicitly says:
“The DNA also indicates the boy’s ancestors came from Asia, supporting the standard idea of ancient migration to the Americas by way of a land bridge that disappeared long ago.”

Tom in Denver

David, As others have mentioned the picture is of the Alaska pipeline which is run above ground so as to not interfere with the permafrost. Most piplines in the lower 48 are buried underground. People pass pipelines all the time, most have no idea they are there, they just look like long greenbelts.

As I understand it, the pipeline intentionally avoided crossing the Standing Rock Reservation partly because they were such a pain in the ass to work with. The initial protest was because the pipe was avoiding the reservation and thus the reservation would get no revenue. The upstream water issue was an invention as an excuse to protest. The pipeline was to traverse the Missouri by a boring process that bores through rock hundreds of feet below the river.

We had to burn down the village to save it!

Of course, all this assumes that the real reason the lead instigators were opposing this was because of environmental concerns. Scott Adams had an interesting take on these types of situations: Dopamine Puppets.

Anthony Mills

David and Tom.The key feature of the photograph(apart from the beautiful vista) are the radiators on the tops of the pipe supports. The supports are actually ammonia Perkins tubes (gravity flow heatpipes) that help freeze the permafrost in the winter so that it will not completely melt in the summer.Such expensive supports will not be used in Africa-or even in N.Dakota!

Johann Wundersamer

Nothing to do with casinos.

All about ‘who owns the casinos’ in the end.

GP Hanner

First, note that the Oahe Reservoir was not created by the Sioux tribes, rather, it is part of a Missouri River flood control started in the 1950s.
Second, note on the map that depicts the proposed pipeline route there is a reservoir named Lake Sakakawea. It is named after that famous female Indian guide that helped lead Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Ocean. The name is pronounced as it appears in that spelling. No one in the Dakotas pronounces it as Sack-uh-jeweeah.


North of Denver where I live there is a company burying a pipeline which appears to originate a half mile of my back yard.They’ll be in and out within six weeks for the two miles or less that I can see from my deck,
In spite of the heavy equipment, pipe welding and other work, not a real nuance in general.

“Sacred Burial Grounds”

That is why it is better to be cremated. No one will disturb your “burial” ground as it will be where the wind and tides take you.

NW sage

Actually, ‘Sacred Burial Grounds’ or ‘Sacred Grounds’ can mean anything the local Indians (or their lawyers) want it to mean at any given moment – or whenever someone wants a subject to ‘rock the boat’ of progress. No objective evidence is necessary since the Indians had no written records, had no concept of ownership or anything resembling those concepts. All land was sacred, whether owned or not because the culture recognized that the health of the land was vital to their survival. When that culture clashed with our concept of ownership and the right to buy and sell trouble was bound to occur. Maybe the Sioux realized the restrictions placed on them when they signed the treaties giving them ‘rights’ to reservation land, maybe they didn’t; but clearly someone chose to ignore those reswtrictions.



Nice; “Alaska Pipeline” all over the world.

Need to find a “photoshoped” Alaska Pipeline from South Pole to McMurdo! Ha ha! 😀

When one casts stones, it’s best to know where those stones come from.

This facile criticism of the Standing Rock protest ignores the realities of life on the res. It’s not all economics, power and influence. There is a vast cultural tradition at play, and 500+ years of genocide and ecoside by invading Europeans.

Think what it would be like if you favorite church or cathedral was overrun by industrial equipment and excavated for a pipeline carrying toxic liquids.

Michael A. Lewis March 3, 2017 at 8:41 am

Think what it would be like if you favorite church or cathedral was overrun by industrial equipment and excavated for a pipeline carrying toxic liquids.

Apparently you didn’t notice, but NO BUILDINGS WERE “OVERRUN” by the pipeline. Nor did it pass over any land owned by the tribe.

And “500+ years of genocide and ecoside [sic]”??? The Standing Rock Sioux STOLE THE LAND THEY ARE ON FROM THE ARIKARA LESS THAN 300 YEAR AGO. It’s not Sioux holy land as you facetiously claim, it is soaked bottom to top in Arikara blood.

So please, get off of your social justice warrior horse. Are you busting the Sioux for their genocide of the Arikara and the theft of their land? No, you are not … but perhaps you should.

Because until you do so, you might as well just STFU about the white genocide. It just makes you look like an arrogant clueless jerk whining about “realities of life” and ignoring Indian genocide when all you are doing is trying to find some new reason to justify your sick hatred of white people.



You might want to include the Hidatsa tribe in that. And the Sioux came out west in the mid-1800’s. As far as the genocide goes, blame that on the Federal government converting the tribes to a welfare state.
Before the natives become assimilated into our society, there must be a major change in culture. They are infected with the “acting white” malady.

Martin Moffit

The one thing that stood out for me, concerning this protest, was the objection owing to ‘Indian burial grounds’. They stated that all the rock ‘cairns’ were burial sites.

Now, I worked and lived in North Dakota for nearly a decade, and my job required extensive rural travel. It’s true that there are rock piles everywhere. However, the true origin of those rock piles lies with Scandinavian immigrants. They are not Viking burial cairns either. As the glaciers retreated from North America, the stones scraped up on their march South from Canada were left behind. When Scandinavian farmers plowed the land, they found these stones, which they carefully deposited in piles at the edge of their fields.

It’s laughable that Indian ‘victims’ are claiming that Canadian rocks piled by Scandinavians are somehow connected to their culture.

Tom Judd

Michael, you ever hear of the Lewis and Clark Expedition? Then President Thomas Jefferson commissioned it in the very early 1800s following the Louisiana Purchase. I suspect the very first Europeans (or descendants of) that the Indians of the Dakotas encountered were the members of that expedition. Sorry to pop your bubble but that wasn’t 500+ years ago.

If you ever learned anything from history it would be that every single race, every single culture, every single nationality, and every single religious belief has, at one time or another, been a victim … and a victimizer. No exceptions, Mike.

Martin Moffit

Never mind that the Plains Indians didn’t exist prior to the arrival of European and the introduction of horses. Prior to that event, the plains were not populated at all.

Tom, Well seeing that his name is “Lewis” I guess he thought he had skin in the game.


Would you care to provide some evidence behind your assertion that these are the issues that are motivating the protesters?

Regardless, if you are still PO’d about something that happened 500 years ago, I can guarantee that you will not have a happy life.

Javert Chip

Michael A. Lewis

Guess you don’t know Indians (native Americans, whatever) weren’t very nice to each other before (or after) Europeans arrived.

What the hell do you think North America was before 1492? A pristine Disneyland for happy Indians?

Eric Stephan

“Ecoside”: made me laugh. Ecoside is when the various plains Indians burned down the scattered forests from Texas to N. Dakota in order to make hunting for Bison easier. That’s what really led to the Dustbowl of the 1930s.

Big Al

I used to work for a small aviation company. We had a customer that flew pipeline patrol. He flew a Piper Cub that had a large loudspeaker mounted in the belly so he could yell at anyone digging too close to the pipeline! His route was Minneapolis to Omaha flying at 200 feet!


I was able to fly the pipeline a few times with our company’s patrol service. I had great fun, but you wouldn’t want to do it if you were prone to motion-sickness.

Robert Austin

It irks me to no end when I read of native bands protesting the construction of pipelines on their lands, newly designated “sacred” sites or even in the general vicinity of their lands. At no time do you hear of their willingness to forgo the benefits of fossil fuels as a trade-off to halting the construction of these pipelines.

Particularly since the Standing Rock Sioux have their own oil wells with their own pipelines ON THEIR RESERVATION. Where where the activists when they did that?


Brenda Brockett

And, have you ever noticed how many big gas-guzzlers these SRT members drive? Ditto for all those “Mother Earth” and “Water Protector” protestors, aka rioters. This whole farce has been hypocrisy at its finest.


I would therefore suppose, that the wrong people were paid for use of the land. Or was it a BLM deal all the way.


I do not understand one thing. If this is the Dakota Acess pipeline on the picture, it is obviously made of stainless steel or has at least such an outer coat. Furthermore, every few meters monitoring sensors are installed. What more could you ask more from a pipeline? That even surpasses the standard, which applies to pipelines in our densely populated Germany. And if we consider the state of the pipelines in the countries of the African or the Middle East, the Dakota seems to prevail here. So I’m really wondering what to ask for from a pipeline. The pipeline is presumably only used by a bunch of silly environmentalists to fight against the whole oil industry and bring us back to the Middle Ages. The Sioux would definitely be the last, which would have an advantage from that , should be easy to make it clear to them. The wild West was not exactly a paradise for Indians. Even before the arrival of the White they had no peaceful life. At that time, tribal warfare was the order of the day and because of the often changing climate of North and Central America they must often flee in other regions, was brought wars and struggle with with the population of the escape areas, apart of the struggle for daily survival. The life of the Mayans and other Mexican peoples is a single combination of struggles and wars with the folks around. In the German-speaking world, Karl May first transfigured the Indian reality before the arrival of the White or at the start of this in the mystical and naturalness. But it was not so, the Indians did not live in peace with the nature, but had to fight their few crumbs against a ruthless nature. Today, they live comparatively better. It would be a good idea rhat they improve their life standards for itself and do not always hope for the great Manitu and the funds from Washington.

Hans-Georg, thanks for the comment. It’s actually a picture of the Alaska pipeline, and it’s aboveground unlike most pipelines because it is built over permafrost.



Thanks. I had already wondered about this luxury. With us, however, are not all pipelines in the ground. We have different soil conditions, which are recommended to stretch a pipeline above ground. Also with transports far more dangerous than oil. But such a luxury performance as in the picture is not with us.

Michael C. Roberts

All – Also, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline section seen in the picture, has been externally insulated with either fiberglass, rock-wool, or expanded polyurethane foam insulation finished (or lagged) with a metal outer jacketing. The oil is heated prior to initially entering the pipe, and then reheated at the various pump stations strategically located along the pipe line route. It gets cold up in them thar parts, and oil would gel and not flow very well hence the heating. More pipeline facts can be found here:

Side note: I worked at the Valdez Terminal Camp in 1976-77, as a first-year Insulator Helper out Heat & Frost Insulator Local 97, assisting the Journeymen while insulating the Power Generation & Vapor Recovery Facility at the terminal. I still have old photos of that once-in-a-lifetime experience. For those of you with a similar experience, remember ‘Cadillac’ Jack Endsley? Now, that’s a story….




Above all, the cavalry of the Indians was a fiction. The horses were introduced only relatively late by the Spaniards from the south and by the European settlers from the east. At that time no one had a horse to give, so the herds of the wild Mustangs, from whom the Indians served themselves, slowly grew up and used the Indians only a few years. Then there was the automobile and the railway. They had to go on their hikes mostly on foot, with sack and pack, wife and child. I am only amazed that the myth of the Indians who are peacefully living with nature, who have been ruthlessly expelled and exploited by the white, is so widespread in the USA. Hollywood thanks? With us, it was Karl May, whose books I had devoured as a child. Later I read more realistic reports on the life of the Indians.


Karl May [rhymes with guy] never got much farther west than New York, but he was writing fiction, so it didn’t much matter. He was extremely popular in Germany. Fans included Wilhelm II, Einstein, Kafka, and Adolf Hitler, another writer popular in Germany, though less so now than Karl May.

Karl May Hans? Is that the writer of “Old Shatterhand” fame that I used to read as a kid 60 years ago?? Please let me know, Kept me awake for years! ( Actually one of the reasons I left the EU for North America!).



CD in Wisconsin

“I think you can see the enormous accumulation of garbage and human waste that’s been piled up down there,” Mr. Burgum said, citing observations from social media videos……”

24,000 tons of garbage left by the DAPL protesters. If those reports of the garbage left behind by the protesters are indeed correct, I have considerable difficulty believing the claims of all those protesters that they care about the land and Mother Earth as much as they claim. $1 million to clean it up. What is that word that starts with an ‘h’ and ends in a ‘y’ that I’m thinking of here? Not surprisingly, I don’t see a lot of the MSM reporting this….only noticed Fox News and the Wash Times doing so during a quick scan.

On the other hand, I have no problem with the fed gov making greater efforts to help the Native Americans reduce their unemployment and poverty levels. It would obviously involve more economic development in their tribal areas and college education programs. We DID treat them badly back in the 19th century.

But the social and economic problems of the native tribes does not excuse the hypocrisy manifested by all the trash left behind by them and their supporters.

I’m sure the last Indian out, stood on the trash with a tear in his eye.


Let’s see, what does this remind me of…

…Occupy Wall Street camps, every leftist “protest” on the Mall in D.C., Rainbow People “gatherings” in National Forests…

What is it about some people that they feel the need to leave trash everywhere they go? Are they trying to make middens for future archaeologists?

Brenda Brockett

The federal government and private industry have made multiple attempts to train workers and set up businesses on Indian Reservations. Most have failed miserably. In Montana, that has happened repeatedly on the Crow Reservation. A company will come onto the reservation, with federal assistance, hire and train workers, and set up a business. Some workers never show up for even one day, some come long enough to get one or two paychecks and then disappear, never to return. Very, very few make good, permanent employees. The companies usually fold and move elsewhere. In one of the comments above, someone referenced problems with the SRT r/t a prior pipeline crossing their lands. This was one of those problems. The agreement mandated hiring of SRT members for workers, and they had the same attendance and work ethic problems.

Went through the same thing in the early 80’s.


Some workers never show up for even one day, some come long enough to get one or two paychecks and then disappear, never to return.

Therein lies the problem. You can not pay them until the end of the work season! As soon as they have money, they see no need to work until the money is gone and their credit used up. They pay their accumulated general store tabs out of the Fall paycheck, spend the rest, then start the cycle over again. Saving is NOT part of their culture. Indians didn’t have banks. Those are still mostly a foreign concept to them. Anybody trying to run a business on or near the res needs to learn the culture in depth.

John F. Hultquist

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Since when does DAPL pass through their territory as stated by Slav?

Tom Halla

The pipeline passes through the Sioux “treaty lands”, that is, the most land they had at the start of the series of wars they lost.


All pipelines in North America would cross tribal lands with a similar stretch.


I suppose that’s why the tribe was urged to join the process early on, but they refused.

John F. Hultquist

Ref; Resourceguy at 11:03
comment image


Was road access really the problem or was it local boycott?

Brenda Brockett

The road access problem was caused by the protestors vandalizing and burning one of the DAPL’s trucks on a bridge. The fire damaged the bridge (and likely polluted the water below) to the point the bridge was unsafe to use. Because of the threatening behavior of the protestors, it was not safe to bring in bridge inspection or repair crews, so the bridge was shut down. Now, who owns that problem?


Only Obama would allow 98 percent of the pipeline project to be built only to throw up a road block at the eleventh hour on the final two percent.

GP Hanner

All done with malice aforethought. He’s not inept, he is malicious.

Javert Chip


Nah – Hillary would have done it, too.

Scott Gates

I wrote a little ‘ol story about the Standing Rock protest … with a few facts about the whole deal … people seemed to like it 🙂

Actually, it’s a highly detailed article with extensive, documented and referenced sources, on the facts and key issues behind the protest. A lot more info in comments as well.

Brenda Brockett

Scott Gates, I have followed this protest closely and read pretty much everything out there about it, including your article. Your article is, by far, the most comprehensive and well documented piece I have seen. I have forwarded it multiple times to people who really want the truth. Part of the problem is there is a slice of the population who are willfully ignorant. They do not want nor seek the truth because the truth does not support their narrative.


“Back in July 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued its preliminary approval for the pipeline’s water crossings…

Question: When was the Final Environmental Assessment for the Missouri River Crossings of the Dakota Access Pipeline released to the public?
Answer: The Finding of No Significant Impact and Final Environmental Assessments were signed and released to the public the week of July 25, 2016.


The approvals were based on civil engineering principles.”

Then in November, the Department of the Army overrode USACE because they felt bad about how the Sioux were treated in the 1800’s…

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.

US Army

So…did the authors of the USACE report, and the USACE superiors who approved it resign their commissions? If they lack the “principles” to do that, how can one believe that their report was based on “engineering principles” and not on the expected election outcome as of July?

Can a honest man serve a crooked master? Another irony there, I think?


Are casinos really the best thing that native Americans can do for America and its economy? – Fleecing hard working but gullible people out of money they can ill-afford to lose?? Perhaps they can start a new line in Ponzie schemes, and fake designer goods….


Javert Chip

If you’ve ever been to an “Indian” casino, you won’t see very many actually working there.


I was, except a visit with a school class, never in a casino. Because I know that only the bank wins. And I can not stand it.

John F. Hultquist

Swinerton completes Yakama Legends Casino expansion with new Hotel — Link

Note the date: March 03, 2017

John F. Hultquist

Meant as a response to “ralfellis” just above.
This site on the Yakama Res has the best RV “camping”/stop/resort (whatever) within a very large area.

It is not hoisted.
It is an older expression “hoist on your own petard”, which means blown up by your own bomb.
It was in reference to an old form of an IED, intended to breach the wall of a castle. I think it was packed with gunpowder.

Will Nelson
Patrick from Canada

The natives (Indians, whatever) have benefited from a reverse mythology since about the 1960s. Before then the cavalry would suddenly show up from the right side of the TV screen at abnormal gallop with clarion trumpet and flag flying to save the wagon train and oust the murderous Indian tribe.

Then came the guilt narrative and the feel-so-sorry-for-the-noble-Indian. Soon the new mythology of ‘First Nations’, ‘natural Mother-earth lovers’, and ‘deep eco-spiritualists’. Now they play it very successfully – nowhere is it mentioned the bloodthirsty Aztecs, the tyrannical Incas, the jungle-destroying Mayans, the terroristic Iroquois, the ravaging Sioux, the slave-owning Haida etc.

In reality they are a mixed bag but mainly a stone-age people suddenly confronted with mainly cruel and inept Europeans whose much more humane descendants have provided modern medicine, technology, democratic norms and real environmental competence. But narratives have too much of a hold on them and is such a useful political tool.

John F. Hultquist

@Patrick above “The natives (Indians, whatever)

Note my comment above the (central Washington State) Yakama Res — they refer to themselves as “indians” and their many web sites use the word.

I am just stunned by the fact that nobody on the environmental side don’t realize the fact that everything we do on a daily basis depends on pipelines,

Sewer comes to mind.


So these friends of the earth didn’t clean up after themselves and just left all their stuff behind for some civic-minded nobodies to clean up?


The tribe says it will spend some of the $12 million+ raised in a few months of protest to move the garbage to the Morton County landfill.


The most important missing irony is that Standing Rock’s water intake was moved some time ago to Mobridge, SD 125km south of the proposed pipeline crossing. They got $40 million in 2009 for a completely new water system which has been virtually completed before the “water protectors” bogus protest began. The 60yr old intake (which has long been a problem with low water levels) was to be shut off by now.

Christopher Paino



David Middleton
March 6, 2017 at 3:56 am wrote:

“Your “argument” lacks any “meat.” Get a calendar and learn how to read it. The professional engineers of USACE approved the water crossings in July 2016. The Obama maladministration revoked those permits for political reasons in November 2016. Trump reversed Obama’s malfeasance in January 2017.”

The substance of my argument is the absurdity of your contention that:

a) Army engineers are guided solely by principles, whereas higher army brass, who appoint and supervise, reassign, and retire them, are mere puppets of the White House, and

b) whereas Obama’s directives are solely based on political considerations, those of Trump would NEVER be.

OTROPOGO: “if the Department of the Army is nothing but a hand puppet of the President, as you suggest, then it shouldn’t be long before the USACE’s engineering principles get trumped again.”

David Middleton:”Why would that happen? Trump is about getting infrastructure built, not obstructing it”

The calendar has nothing to do with this. But perhaps you’re suffering from senile dementia, in which case, I apologize for disturbing your reverie…


The lies continue, for in truth us it not all indigenous peoples land- yes it ia- is it not all stolen land , now, no matter the painting if , recognized past treaties, – to remember the atrocity committed by those colonists and settlers, the murders bloodshed, also- are we not aware of the fact we have always and will always have alternatives to oil- so might the truth of the oil industry be revealed to all, Ms.or Mrs.Slav- I do not see the purpose of your article in full, the associations , your words seem to support the oil industry.You support the oil industry don’t you..Burial Grounds, ..Is not oil made from deceased beings, compressed carbon, is it not obvious that an entity who murdered enforced slave labor, poisoned and drugged indigneous inhabitants, raped and raped and raped and raped and raped and raped so many murdered and murdered so many- Ms. Or Mrs. Slav- do you know how many children, babes, were murdered , mutilated then, throughout U.S. hiistory,- not yet mentioned in textbooks and indeed – COVERED UP MASKED PAINTED OVER – Do you recognize the great virtue patience , reason,diplomacy , wisdom of the Tribes, in face of all that had been and still is committed against the indigenous descendants, not only on the “North American Continent” but around the globe.? Oh Me.Slab.I pray for you, I pray for the children you may or may not or will have.I pray for all mankind to be saved, I pray for the upliftment of humanity!! Truth!! This continent in its entirety is scattered with burial grounds, – indeed I imagine many murdered time ago were not even buried by their oppressors , .This Continent is covered in blood, cemented and tarred over, Will it take such divine proportions as roots cracking your cemented pavements and tarred streets, Tornados,Hurricanes, Individual lightning strikes upon the wicked and the wickeds supporters on the face , underneath, anywhere on this earth- space station ,”moon. Vacations”, Billion dollar ski slopes built for luxurious enjoyment, when there are so many that had been made poor by such industry, business, and its propagation– I pray for your souls , – that you all find salvation, In TRUTH, and redeem yourselves- I pray for you, Donald (Drumpf) Trump, in your own words you may still,”Turn it around” and I pray YOU All ACCEPT And Subscribe to Truth, for the sake of all, and CEASE DENIAL, for the sake of “posterity” – such denial and action , curses your children continually-“TURN IT AROUND”. We do NOT , Do NOT , need , oil, .Let us stop such “senseless sacrifice” and evil.


a) Army engineers are guided solely by principles, whereas higher army brass, who appoint and supervise, reassign, and retire them, are mere puppets of the White House,
Principles such as greed and supremacy?
Clearly they are not guided by Morality or Truth.

Tom Halla

Good parody of a Social Justice Warrior. Or are you actually serious?
The mass loss due to plagues of the American population would have happened if a sufficiently large enough group of Buddhist monks has reached the Americas, larger enough to expose the population to the Afro-Eurasian disease environment.
As someone who is part Mexican mestizo, some of my ancestors were right proper yahoos who did not share my sense of morality. It does not matter whether they were Indian or Spanish–human sacrifice is as reprehensible as the Inquisition.
Get a life.