The day will come when the DAPL project will either be completed or mothballed. If completed it will likely be after President Obama can no longer pad Warren Buffet's wallet by delaying or blocking the movement of oil by pipeline as opposed to rail.
When that day comes and the Native American protesters return to the life they put on hold, all of their social and economic problems will be waiting right where they left them. Only they will have even less resources to battle them as one of their major economic engines - the casino, is hemorrhaging money as patrons are staying away in droves.
Native Americans, Hollywood celebrities, and folks like Jesse Jackson are all claiming that the fight against DAPL is all about the sanctity of life. Really? And when exactly have our over 300 Native American Tribes been united as they are against the DAPL in truly fighting for life's sanctity in their communities? The facts are well known as to the astonishing rate of diabetes, alcoholism, abject poverty, child abuse, hunger, unemployment and perhaps the saddest of all, the incredible rate of teen suicide, especially among girls.
Where, oh where is the uproar? Where is the outrage? Where is the action? What would it take, now that the Native American population has the eyes and ears of the world on them right here in North Dakota, to unify to truly sanctify life in meaningful and sustainable ways in which all can participate?
Is it not clear that fossil fuel is here and will be here for the foreseeable future? Oil has and will continue to travel through pipelines, over the rails and highways no matter the outcome of the DAPL. Meanwhile, what if, what if even one Native American teenaged girl's life would be spared were Native Americans and non-native Americans to unify to do so as they are unified in fighting an unwinnable war against the DAPL?
Just one life. Is there a big enough number to equate to its value? Is anything more valuable? Can't be.
Hardmeyer lives in Mott, N.D.