Friday, June 16, 2017

Sioux Win in Federal Court

Natives standing up at Standing Rock to protect their rights to clean water, got a significant show of support from a federal district court judge.  Judge Boasberg recognized the Standing Rock tribe's interest in Lake Oahe from which it obtains its water supplies. The Lake was created from 56,000 acres of the Standing Rock Reservation and 104,420 acres of Cheyenne River Sioux trust lands.  Federal treaty law requires the tribes be consulted early in the development process which means in time for the tribes "to provide meaningful comments that may affect the decision".  That didn't happen in the case of the Dakota Access pipeline.  The Sioux found out about the development project by reading the local Bismark newspaper.  There will be more decisions and more litigation.  Its time for the local governments to adhere to their own rhetoric and obey the law of the land, and not treat water advocates like domestic jihadists.  If that means tolerating encampments on what used to be Indian land and ending criminal prosecutions of protestor exercising their supreme Constitutional rights, so be it.  The legal process needs time to work, not fire hoses.