The land of property rights, with one notable exception

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Even if I didn’t have friends who were NDNs, just as a human being, it’s hard to mix the hypocrisy of taking Indian lands. Charlie Pierce:

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA—The involvement of the indigenous populations in both the United States and Canada in the opposition to various pipelines, including the Keystone XL, should come as no surprise. As we have said, the abuse and misuse of the eminent domain process in the construction of the pipeline here has been an effective organizing tool to bring together environmentalists and ranchers to oppose the project. And if it is nothing else, the history of the native peoples on this continent is the greatest example of eminent domain abuse in human history. They know better than anyone the feeling that greater forces from the outside can overwhelm and threaten long-standing ways of life.

On Tuesday, in a basement ballroom of a downtown hotel, the Ponca, Santee, Omaha, and Winnebago peoples organized a treaty among themselves, and several other tribes, expressing their opposition to the pipeline. From the start, here and in Canada, the indigenous peoples of the continent have been at the heart of the opposition to projects like this one, most visibly during the extended confrontation over the Dakota Access pipeline. In Nebraska, the alliance between Native Americans and ranchers, particularly over issues of eminent domain, not only was shot through with remarkable historical je ne sais quoi, it was a pragmatic decision based on common interests. People shouldn’t buy the right to steal your land. The Native people are familiar with this phenomenon and with how angry its victims can become.

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