Do You Know About Standing Rock?
Summary of various internet news articles from Buzz feed, Motador Network and Hugh Post …etc.
I just spent the morning learning about the protests in North Dakota. I’m not totally sure which side I am on after investigating the opinions and facts on both sides. However, I am still leaning toward the protesters in hopes of a compromise and my heart goes out to them. Good news, President Obama is currently researching alternative routes and solutions to the issue. We all need to pray.
I’m writing this blog, because I got caught up in the news media hype (Bernie Sanders, the Vets coming in to relieve the protesters, celebrities…) and shared a post BEFORE I did the research. I did not remember my own advice, “There are always two sides to every story. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Listed below is a summary of the information I found.
Why is the tribe concerned about the pipeline?
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota fear their sacred lands and livelihoods are in danger from a planned oil pipeline. They have halted the pipeline construction near the North Dakota reservation. The tribe believes the four-state pipeline would taint drinking water and infringe on sacred sites. If the pipeline were to break, it would severely impact their only source of drinking water.
The $3.8 billion project would funnel 500K barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. The rivers impacted by the pipeline are the only water sources for thousands of residents from the reservation and millions more downstream. The Missouri River is one of the cleanest and safest rivers left in the United States. (Did you also know that places like Flint Michigan has not had clean drinking water since April 2014? Their water is severely contaminated with lead.)
What the protestors want?
Basically, the tribe is worried about having an oil leak near the reservation’s water intake valves. The protesters are asking the president to either: call off the pipeline, reroute the pipeline, and/or declare the land a federal monument.
My concerns: New president elect “Trump” owns stock in the company (Phillips 66), which is one quarter share of Dakota Access. I think that could be a huge conflict of interest. Per an interview with Kelcy Warren, CEO of Dallas based Energy Transfer, he told the Associated Press that he expects Trump to make it easier for his company and others to complete the infrastructure projects. I saw a video were he stated a 100% certainty in his belief the president elect would support the oil company and remove the protesters. My thoughts went to “by any means necessary”. I pray I am wrong. He also confirmed this company provide a lot of money to the Trump campaign, committee’s supporting the Trump candidacy, and the Republican National Committee. “While Trump's stake in the pipeline company is modest compared with his other assets, ethics experts say it's among dozens of potential conflicts that could be resolved by placing his investments in a blind trust, a step Trump has resisted.” Matthew Daly reporter for the Associated Press.
It’s no secret, I am no fan of the Trump. I will however give him a chance to up hold the office and provide him the respect due our president.
Read the details at Bloomberg Politics: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-25/trump-s-stock-in-oil-pipeline-company-raises-concern
The oil company’s point of view
The oil company claims that the valves can be quickly shut down if any leaks are detected, due to 24 hour monitoring. Standing Rock Fact Checker: http://standingrockfactchecker.org/fact-checking-srst-claims-9-7-16/
The company states as fact:
The pipeline does not encroach on the lands, it’s located on purchased private property.
Safety: Pipelines are by far the safest way to transport and there are already 8 pipelines crossing the Missouri River.
Over 389 meetings were held with the tribal community (55 tribes) and the US Army Corps, in addition the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met individually with the U.S. Army Corps nearly a dozen times to discuss archaeological and other surveys conducted to finalize the Dakota Access route.
Based on input from a number of sources, the pipeline route was adjusted in September 2014, to shorten the pipeline by 11 miles, avoid buildings and other structures, and cross fewer waterways and roads.
Safeguarding and ensuring the longevity of culturally significant artifacts and sites is of interest to all Americans. That’s why the Dakota Access Pipeline traverses a path on private property.
And the Dakota Access Pipeline was routed to parallel existing infrastructure, such as the Northern Border Pipeline and high voltage transmission power lines. Therefore the Dakota Access route has already been under construction twice before. Designing the route to parallel existing infrastructure mitigates any additional impacts to the environment and avoids areas of potential cultural significance.
Additionally, on site there are professional archeologists who are able to identify and properly tend to artifacts and evidence of culturally significant sites if any not identified by the surveys are discovered.
Who owns the land?
Article by Matt Koller on Dec 1, 2016
Article title: Standing Rock: Don’t just raise your fist, know the facts
Technically the land belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux (according to the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851), that it’s actually federal land being leased by the Army Corps of Engineers to the Standing Rock Sioux for the express purpose of these protests. That information is crucial, because otherwise you wouldn’t understand how the Army Corps of Engineers could “evict” the Water Protectors from that very land, on December 5. We pray this will come to a peaceful end.
My Experience and Lesson Learned – A Christian Perspective
I love sharing sermons that touch my heart and make me really think. It was the wife of a popular preacher, I can’t recall the name… but she shared a very powerful testimony.
She was at the grocery store in the 10 items or less aisle and a lady was in front of her with a ton of stuff. She was putting items on the counter and removing them, not sure what she wanted to purchase and holding up the express lane.
I have been there … the person on both sides, wasting the time of others and waiting patiently and impatiently on the price check, forgot an item, lack of funds, and/or bounced check issue. Been there experienced it all. Smile ---thinking how inconsiderate some people are… Have you been there? Not knowing the facts and just making vast assumptions. Assumptions about conversations, expressions, opinions, in general assumptions about life.
One false belief the devil had me believing and to be honest I sometimes (smile) still have to fight against … is the belief that people either like me or hate me, there is no in between. I’m that important in my own mind. LOL! That false belief once caused me a lot of missed out wonderful relationships.
Anyway, back to the grocery story… the lady holding up the express lane looked up and said, “My daughter is starting her cancer treatments today and is returning home from the 1st one, I am not sure what she will be able to eat and I have to rush out to pick her up. I am so confused and don’t know what to buy.”
She was facing her worst fear and we were worried about being held up in the grocery line. That testimony touched my heart in so many ways. I have been the … “hurry up” mindset and the “if they only knew about my pain” mode.
I’ve learned and need to keep remembering … it’s always best to step back and take a deep breath, because we don’t always understand what’s around us. God does and He knows. God sees our paths and reacts from every possible understanding and HE is in control.
When you are up against a situation step back and pray. Pray before you act. Pray before you speak. Pray before you move. You might just find silence was the best course of action in the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I felt pain and wanted to just strike back, then later when I had all the facts… realized I was 100% wrong. Listening and consulting with the Holy Spirit saved me countless bouts with embarrassment and repentance.
Lesson Learned: Most times silence is golden and allows you time to just sit back, pray, research, and think before you act, speak, or move. Seek to understand, then to be understood. Once you understand another point of view pray, speak, and move … making sure you are doing it under God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace. A good check and balance… will this encourage others. What would Jesus do? Smile
Action Item: Pray for all involved, especially the protectors who are suffering in the harsh weather, and if the Holy Spirit leads you… call the Whitehouse and leave President Obama a message explaining how you feel about the situation. Who are you supporting, or just let him know you will support his final discussions, remind him to trust God. You may reach the Whitehouse be calling: (202) 456-1111 and (202) 456-1414.
Listed below are the scriptures about conflict resolution used to create today’s intercessory prayer I hope you also used to meditate about the Standing Rock conflict.
James 1:19 - Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath
Proverbs 15:1 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Matthew 5:9 - Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Luke 17:3 - Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Colossians 3:13 - Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.
Proverbs 16:7 - When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Ephesians 4:31 - Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice
Matthew 6:9-13 – The Lord’s prayer (ESV)
Here is today’s prayer … Praying scriptures about conflict resolution
My Father who is in heaven … Holy, Holy, Holy be Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it already is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts and trespasses, as we have forgiven our debtors and those who have trespassed against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for you are the power and the glory forever. Amen! Father God, we all make decisions in this life … help us to pray before we act. Help us to see Your Will be done. For you have taught us to first love our brethren, to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Help us to speak to one another with encouragement and understanding.
Let our words not be grievous and stir up anger. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. I pray that you raise up the peacemakers in us all. Father, I ask that you forgive us and help us to find common ground amongst those we once called our enemies. Help us to remember that we are all children of God, enable us to love and forgive one another for your transgressions.
For your word tells us to as for forgiveness of our trespasses as we have forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Proverbs 16:7 says, When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Jesus, we ask that you let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor (loud and confused speech), and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.
God I ask that you please bring all involved in the Standing Rock conflict to YOURSELF. I ask your Father for a peace end to the conflict. Lord, I ask all of this in the name of your only begotten son Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen, Amen, Amen!