The situation in North Dakota surrounding the Indians and the government has spiraled out of control for far too long.
In short, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline since 2014. We only first learned about this a few months ago when the federal government tried to physically assault and remove the Indians from land that is theirs.
The situation gained national attention as thousands of protesters—including many Native Americans—gathered in North Dakota to block the 1,200-mile project. While the government has vowed to suspend efforts to remove the Indians, they are not going anywhere. They know the battle is not going to end anytime soon.
The issue has quickly become one that President Donald Trump is interested in. Trump and his advisers are pushing the idea of transferring control of 56 million acres of American Indian lands from the federal government to the tribes that live there, in an effort to give the people land they are entitled to.
Under current law, tribes have limited rights to use their own lands because it is actually owned by the federal government. Tribal officials govern Indian lands as sovereign nations, but federal officials ultimately decide the range of activities allowed on such lands.
Tribes can drill or mine on their lands, but federal agencies apply stricter regulations than on private property, Trump advisers told Reuters.
“We should take tribal land away from public treatment,” Oklahoma Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin, a Cherokee tribe member who co-chairs Trump’s Native American Affairs Coalition, told Reuters.
“As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country,” Mullin said.
The United States government has an awful record with Native American tribes, so it would behoove the government to understand the levity of the situation. Privatizing the land would allow for more business deals and would allow both sides to agree of terms instead of one side controlling all.
Yes, the federal government has the right to quite literally do what they want. They could remove the Indians and continue with the pipeline if they chose to, but that misses the larger point.
Regardless of what President Trump chooses to do with the land itself, one thing remains very clear: the federal government should not be showing up to the protests in full war gear driving tanks and Humvees.
If we are going to work out a peaceful deal, we cannot continue to allow the government to use force against Indians that are merely trying to protect their own tribal lands.
How would you feel if the government knocked on your door, told you they needed your land for a project, and that you had to leave immediately? I bet you would put up a fight for what is yours.
Many that argue Trump should take the land and continue with the pipeline are hypocrites. How can we support the Constitution and giving power back to the people but argue for the federal government to step in and take a large swath of land that affects millions?
The fact that Trump is siding with the Indians is another example of how he is for the people and not for big government sticking their nose in everything. These government officials have taken this situation so far that they shot a girl in the face.
Imagine if this was in your community. You wouldn’t tolerate this tyranny and neither would our Founding Fathers.
Under a President Trump, we will continue to make deals that benefit the American people, not special interests groups or expanding the federal government into our communities.
This is about the people verse the federal government, never forget that.