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.
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.
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 casinoBISMARCK, N.D.The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is facing a budget shortfall of nearly $6 million due to declining revenue at its casino.
Tribal leaders say a slowing economy and a snowy winter contributed to losses at the Prairie Knights Casino. Also, the closure of the casino’s main access road due to the oil pipeline protest hurt the facility’s bottom line.
“It’s like it’s fallen off a cliff,” said tribal financial officer Jerome Long Bottom. “When the bridge was shut off, the numbers just plummeted.”
Long Bottom said the tribe will face some tough choices in the months ahead on what to fund. The casino’s turnaround depends on how quickly Highway 1806 is reopened and how long it takes to entice customers to return, The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2m7SXFU) reported.
“I don’t know how bad the perception is,” Long Bottom said, unsure how closely people associate controversy over the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline with the casino.
Concert and visitor attendance at the casino are down over the past several months, general manager E.J. Iron Eyes said.[…]
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.
The Standing Rock Sioux’s protest crippled the Standing Rock Sioux’s economy.
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.
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.
The protest against a mythical threat to the Standing Rock water supply created a genuine threat to the Standing Rock water supply.
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…