This map shows the original route the pipeline was supposed to run; it would’ve passed right upriver from Bismarck. This possible danger to the city’s water supply was immediately changed to be a possible danger to someone else’s water supply: the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Not only will a potential oil spill poison the water for the entire reservation, construction on the project destroyed many sacred spaces to the Sioux, showing the blatant disregard the companies had for them. But despite numerous legal challenges, construction on the pipeline was greenly by President Trump.
The issue of rights to water is tied in with native sovereignty, because water is life. Water protectors know that if their sovereignty had been upheld and respected, they never would’ve had to even fight for water access in the first place; it would’ve been a given. This protest sign shows how the NoDAPL protests were not just about environmentalism, they were about protecting a people and a way of life. By fighting for their water rights, they are also fighting for their water rights, and vice versa. But their claims and protests were ignored in favor of larger profit margins.
This chart shows all the streams of money flowing into the corporations that support the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is what the U.S government was fighting to protect, not the safety of the native people. Indigenous safety has been ignored again in favor of profit.