Water. The original peoples teach that it is sacred and we cannot live without it.
It is the first thing we use every morning, and the last thing we use every night.
It allows us to thrive, and plants, trees and our food to grow. It is essential to all life.
And yet we poison it at every turn:
- It’s reported that at the Rio Olympics, swimmers need to ingest only three teaspoons of water to contract a virus. Rio de Janeiro waterways are contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.
- 14 billion pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, is dumped into the ocean each year, killing sea life. In January, 2016, thirteen sperm whales washed up dead in Germany, their stomachs full of plastic and auto parts.
- One in 10 people globally live without clean water.
- Fracking to bring us natural gas pollutes our underground aquifers.
- In the U.S., the Clean Water Act is violated at every turn, yet rarely are guilty companies punished.
- Michigan government allowed the water supply of the city of Flint to be poisoned to save money. Now Flint children have lead poisoning, which causes brain damage.
- In developing countries, 70% of industrial waste is dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply.
- 70% of the earth is covered with water, but fresh water in the world is only 3.5% of the total water available [most water is ocean water].
- 320 million in China have no access to clean drinking water.
- After the 2011 Tsunami, the Japanese government dumped 2 million gallons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean.
- 15 million children under the age of five die each year because of diseases caused by drinking polluted water.
- In America, 40% of the rivers and 46% of the lakes are polluted and considered unhealthy for swimming, fishing or aquatic life.
I could go on, but it only gets more depressing. We feel helpless as to what we can do to help, but there is a fight going on here in the U.S. that we can all support.
We can stop the desecration of water on Native lands
The U.S. Federal government has approved the Dakota Access Pipeline to be built across Lakota Sioux Indian land and waters in direct violation of the 1851/68 Ft. Laramie Treaties with the Great Sioux Nation.
The path of the 1,172 mile pipeline will
- Transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day, disturbing burial grounds and sacred sites on the tribe’s ancestral Treaty lands.
- Cross 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries, including the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of drinking and irrigation water.
- Threaten the way of life of the Sioux people, water, and land. Pipelines break: in 2012-2013 there were 300 oil pipeline breaks just in the state of North Dakota.
- Leave the Standing Rock Sioux and millions of others without any clean water if there is a leak.
In addition to the Sioux Tribe, the Dakota Access Pipeline is opposed by farmers, ranchers and environmental groups.
For the past few weeks, peaceful demonstrations by Native Americans and friends have been taking place to prevent the building of the pipeline across Sioux land and water. As of this writing, twelve peaceful protesters have been arrested, including the Tribal Chairman.
This is a worthy cause: indigenous people defending their land and water against big oil corporations and government.
This heartfelt and eloquent statement by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman is worth reading: http://lastrealindians.com/statement-from-standing-rock-sioux-tribal-chairman-on-the-dakota-access-pipeline/
You can sign a petition to show your support for the Tribe’s efforts to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline here: https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1861
We’ve already stolen their land, let’s at least leave our Native Peoples with clean water.