“The fact that myself and other elected leaders of tribes have taken a stance against the pipeline doesn’t mean that our law enforcement agencies don’t have an interest in understanding what’s going on at the Straits with the pipeline,” says Bryan Newland, Chairman of the Bay Mills Indian Community. “It would be just like Enbridge reaching out to the Michigan State Police despite the fact that our attorney general and governor are opposed to the pipeline in the straits.”
Kyle Whyte is a professor at Michigan State University and a citizen of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation who has written about Standing Rock. He says there’s a trend of companies trying to control public advocacy behind the scenes.
“Instead of companies proposing risky projects being subject to oversight, it’s citizens concerned about preventing risks who are subject to oversight from those seeking to impose the risks,” he says. “There is a problem of mutual accountability here.”