The poor treatment of Native Americans is a stain in American history. Broken treaties and stolen lands are a few of the wrongs suffered by Native Americans. According to this article, history may be repeating itself. An Army Corps of Engineers oil pipeline project is planning to place their pipe under a section of the Missouri river. The pipeline is supposed to be safer and more efficient than how oil is currently being transported in the area. It sounds like a great plan but a leak in the pipe could contaminate the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s source of water. According to the Standing Rock Sioux the pipeline also cuts across sacred land and burial places. This isn’t the first time in recent history that the land of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been put at risk. 58 years ago a dam, approved by congress, forced the Standing Rock tribe from their homes, destroyed some of their most valuable land, and caused cultural degradation. The childhood homes of many were submerged. The Standing Rock tribe has been protesting the pipeline and they have gained support from other Native American tribes across the country. Local authorities fear that angry protests could become violent causing harm to workers and protesters alike.
This issue is multi-faceted and there may not be a good solution. The choice is essentially between economic benefit for the many and cultural preservation and property rights of the few. Should the lands of Native American tribes be exempt from eminent domain to repay for lands stolen in the past? At what point have enough rectifications been made?