The Dakota Access Pipeline, Environmental Injustice, and U.S. Colonialism

Red Ink: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities, Issue 19.1, Spring 2017

26 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2017 Last revised: 21 Apr 2021

Date Written: February 28, 2017

Abstract

Starting in April 2016, thousands of people, led by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal members, gathered at camps to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) — creating the #NoDAPL movement. I am concerned with how critics of #NoDAPL often focus on defending the pipeline’s safety precautions or the many attempts the Army Corps of Engineers made at consulting the Tribe. Yet critics rarely engage what LaDonna Brave Bull Allard calls “the larger story.” To me, as an Indigenous supporter of #NoDAPL, one thread of the larger story concerns how DAPL is an injustice against the Tribe. The type of injustice is one that many other Indigenous peoples can identify with — U.S. settler colonialism. I seek to show how there are many layers to the settler colonial injustice behind DAPL that will take me, by the end of this essay, from U.S. disrespect of treaty promises in the 19th century to environmental sustainability and climate change in the 21st century.

Suggested Citation

Whyte, Kyle Powys, The Dakota Access Pipeline, Environmental Injustice, and U.S. Colonialism (February 28, 2017). Red Ink: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities, Issue 19.1, Spring 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2925513

Kyle Powys Whyte (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

440 Church Street
Dana Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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