Sacred Stone Camp
One of the domestic challenges that will fall to Donald Trump on his accession to the presidency is the proposed $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline project, which directly threatens the only water supply for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Earlier this year, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, an elder member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, established the Sacred Stone Camp to protest the plans to construct a 1,170-mile long pipeline which would run across four states. The camp, on her own private land, has become a centre for cultural preservation and spiritual resistance to the project, drawing indigenous people from all over North America in the largest gathering of native tribes in the past 100 years.
Ownership of the Black Hills of Dakota, considered by the Sioux Indians to be sacred land, has been the subject of dispute between the Sioux and the U.S. government ever since the middle of the 19th century. In the spring of 1868, a peace conference was held at Fort Laramie and the United States duly recognised the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, setting the area aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. However, just six years later in 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills and prospectors started moving into the Sioux hunting grounds, demanding protection from the United States Army. General George Custer led an expedition into the area and encountered an encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Although Custer’s 7th Cavalry detachment was famously annihilated, the government continued its efforts to wrest control of the land. Under the leadership of Chief Sitting Bull, the Great Sioux Nation refused to sell or rent their lands. Eventually, the government overcame all indigenous resistance and, in 1877, annexed the territory and permanently established Native American reservations.
Well, here’s an interesting thing – one of the investors who owns stock in the Dakota Access parent company is….. yes, you guessed it – President-elect Donald Trump.