Native American Rights By Jack Storm

One of the most important civil rights issues of our time is the rights of Native Americans. Native Americans have been treated poorly throughout history and although they have gotten better they have certainly not gone away. Today their rights are still being infringed upon on many ways much like those of lacks in the Civil Rights movement. Their religious beliefs and health are being threatened in cases like the Dakota Access Pipeline. According Jueun Choi of USA Today, “to pipeline threatens their religious rights and water supply”. Which goes against the US Constitution's 1st amendment which gives freedom of religion to citizens. These Native Americans genuinely fear for their lives because of this pipeline. A New Mexican Native American says, “It’s not about money — it’s about our lives”. It is a serious issue that can have a huge affect on the lives of these innocent. Because of threats to beliefs and even health, Native American rights is an important issue.

The tribes and their supporters say the $3.8 billion pipeline threatens their religious rights and water supply
Protesters protesting Dakota Access Pipeline

There are many similarities between Native Americans fight for their rights and the Civil Right Movement during the 1950-60’s. First of all many Native Americans partook in a march on Washington similar to the one Blacks did for their rights. According to Nathalie Baptiste of Mother Jones ,”On Friday morning, thousands of indigenous nations and environmental activists descended on Washington, D.C.” they shared their opinions and explained why they deserved rights in Washington D.C.. This is much like the civil rights movement before, and today Native Americans still need to fight to get the same rights as most other American citizens.

March on Washington

Although there are many similaritys between the Civil Rights movement and current civil rights issues with Native Americans, there are also many differences. An example of this is how many Native Americans way of life is being threatened. According to Michael McLaughlin of Huffington post, "A Native American tribe had argued that an oil-filled pipeline would violate their freedom of religion". This was not an issue with previous civil rights disputes. They are also in a different possision because they are on their own land as seen in the map below.

There are not many things you can do to help the Native Americans get their well deserved rights. As seen in many photographs above people protest to help. Many college students have arrange protests to help. According to Jessica Pace of The Durango Herald, "About 30 demonstrators, including tribal members and students, gathered in Buckley" to protest. This it unfortunately the only way to speak out against this unfairness. You can still speak your mind and convince others of the effects the pipeline has on Native Americans.

Pipeline goes through standing rock reserve

Works Cited

Baptiste, Nathalie, Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo, Rebecca Leber, Wes Enzinna, P.R. Lockhart, Inae Oh, and Patrick Caldwell. "Thousands of Dakota Access Pipeline Activists Came to Washington." Mother Jones. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Destruction of Sacred Burial Grounds Prompts Federal Judge to Protect Some Tribal Sites from Dakota Access Pipeline." DeSmogBlog. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

McLaughlin, Michael. "First Oil Could Flow Through The Dakota Access Pipeline Next Week." The Huffington Post., 15 Mar. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Pace, Jessica. "Durango Protesters Unite against Dakota Access Pipeline." Durango Herald, 23 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

(, Deutsche Welle. "Standing Rock #NoDAPL Protest Camp Cleared in North Dakota | News | DW.COM | 23.02.2017." DW.COM. N.p., 23 Feb. 2017. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.


Created with images by Groushevaia - "Goodnight, Warriors" • Fibonacci Blue - "Dakota Access Pipeline protesters against Donald Trump"

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