DAPL: Food for thought this Thanksgiving

Catrina Oberfeldt, Social Media Manager

As the Thanksgiving season comes and goes, we make proclamations of love and gratefulness to our families, friends, and good fortune. We are so lucky to have this holiday to remember how well off we are, and with that privilege comes a responsibility to speak out for those who are less fortunate than us. A few years ago, for me at least, the narrative was to be mindful of how my ancestors and many other white settlers pushed the Native Americans off their land.

In grade school we are taught that Thanksgiving was a time of unison for the settlers and Native Americans, but no one wants to tell children about the monstrosities that came after that. Indigenous peoples were pushed from their land and slaughtered, all in the name of progress.

In recent years, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been in the forefront of the media. The tiny bit of land the Native Americans are left with has been taken again. A few years ago, big oil companies wanted to put a huge pipe to transport crude oil across the country, going directly through Standing Rock reservation’s water source. With national protests and a little help from former President Barack Obama, the production was stopped. But when Trump took office, he quietly began construction again. The DAPL was finished in March of this year.

In the last few months there has been little talk of the 210,000 gallons of crude oil that were leaked in South Dakota. This year, it is important to remember where this holiday comes from, and to really think about how we have treated and are still treating the Native Americans. We continue to take their land, and as everyone saw with the violent response to their peaceful protests, we still spill Native American blood for the sake of our country’s growth.

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