Featuring a former student of mine and current tribal cultural resources policy fellow at Berkeley Law, Nazune Menka, here.
In 2016 and 2017, we saw what the police response was to the Dakota Access Pipeline and water protectors. The use of water cannons and rubber bullets on peaceful people at the Water Protector Camp was reminiscent of the police treatment of activists during the civil rights movement in the South.
This summer, we saw what the police response was to the Black Lives Matter movement. The protests that were happening were largely calm. They were respectful, peaceful protests. People came in from out of town to counterprotest, and that’s where the clashing and violence came from. I don’t think that any of the violence this summer was at the behest of the Black Lives Matter movement. I think quite the opposite — these events were targeted to skew the optics in the media to basically demonize people of color even further. Thinking about this in contrast to the police response at the Capitol is heartbreaking to me.
From the Intercept, here.
Danielle Delaney has published “Under Coyote’s Mask: Environmental Law, Indigenous Identity, and #NoDAPL” in the Michigan Journal of Race & Law.
This Article studies the relationship between the three main lawsuits filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the Yankton Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DaPL) and the mass protests launched from the Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin protest camps. The use of environmental law as the primary legal mechanism to challenge the construction of the pipeline distorted the indigenous demand for justice as U.S. federal law is incapable of seeing the full depth of the indigenous worldview supporting their challenge. Indigenous activists constantly re-centered the direct actions and protests within indigenous culture to remind non-indigenous activists and the wider media audience that the protests were an indigenous protest, rather than a purely environmental protest, a distinction that was obscured as the litigation progressed. The NoDAPL protests, the litigation to prevent the completion and later operation of the pipeline, and the social movement that the protests engendered, were an explosive expression of indigenous resistance—resistance to systems that silence and ignore indigenous voices while attempting to extract resources from their lands and communities. As a case study, the protests demonstrate how the use of litigation, while often critical to achieving the goals of political protest, distorts the expression of politics not already recognized within the legal discourse.
The book webpage from Verso is here.
Amanda M. Marincic has published “The National Historic Preservation Act: An Inadequate Attempt to Protect the Cultural and Religious Sites of Native Nations” in the Iowa Law Review.
Beginning in 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe engaged in a highly-publicized, year-long legal battle with Energy Transfer Partners regarding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (“DAPL”). The Tribe initially argued that the DAPL’s construction would destroy ancient burial sites and potentially poison their only source of drinking water, the Missouri River. The Tribe also argued that the agency involved in the project, the Army Corps of Engineers, did not fulfill the obligations required by the NHPA. For a while, the fate of the DAPL was uncertain, with permits for construction being denied and then granted. After the Army Corps of Engineers granted the permit pursuant to President Trump’s memorandum, construction on the DAPL was completed. After several failed attempts by the Standing Rock Sioux to halt operation of the DAPL, a federal district judge ruled in June 2017 that the environmental impact studies done on the DAPL were inadequate. While this ruling is a small victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the NHPA was useless in protecting its cultural sites from significant damage.
Here are the materials in the consolidated cases known as Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers (D.D.C.):
292 Yankton Sioux Tribe Motion for Summary J
317-1 Army Corps Response
319 Dakota Access Response
341 DCT Order