Scott Sewell has this up on how things changed when the gaming commissions came to town. A sly way to divide tribes, eh?
There is just something wrong with giving tribes two choices: nuclear waste or gambling casinos.
But the federal government says to Indian people, “I will recognize your sovereignty if you have either a nuclear or toxic-waste dump or casino.” That’s pretty much the only way you get your sovereignty recognized as Indian people.
Let me be clear about this: We are sovereign. I don’t care if the federal government recognizes me, my nation, and my people. That’s of little consequence to me in the long-term picture. The federal government, as far as I’m concerned, is by and large illegal. Most transactions are illegal. It’s like being recognized by a bunch of hoodlums. But under the law, they recognize your sovereignty in those two things, a dump or a casino. So Indian people are in an ironic situation, in that our choices for economic development are so limited.
In Minnesota, I see two examples. I see a reservation like Mille Lacs. They have two casinos. They built schools, houses, roads, clinics, and community buildings. They bought land. Nobody was going to do that for them. No federal appropriation was going to be made for those Indian people to do that, although their land was mostly taken from them. The federal government is supposed to provide those things for them. That’s not going to happen, so they did that with their casinos, and that’s right. They’re making some long-term investments that are smart. They don’t think those casinos are going to last forever, but they’re doing the right thing.
I have heard of folks willing their land to a tribe native to the area. Cool.
Here is the Native Harvest website Winona mentions.
The grassroots people of Kul Wicasa oppose the development of the power line infrastructure planned by Basin Electric. The Lower Brule substation is to be located two miles from the Big Bend Damn. The thick, corrosive nature of tarsands oil (which in its natural state is the consistency of peanut butter) requires a constant temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and necessary dilutants to liquify it enough to be slurried through the pipeline. This will require an enormous amount of power. Basin Electric stated at a public utilities commission meeting in Winner, SD “the pipeline apparently moves oil under 1440 pounds of pressure per square inch. If the line is to move 700,000 barrels of crude per day, each pumping station requires three 6500 hp electric motors running on 17 megawatts of power night and day. If the flow rate is increased to 900,000 barrels per day, five 6500hp electric motors are required. That would use 25 megawatts of power.”
This increasing demand for electricity forces the need for the additional power station at Lower Brule. Transmission studies indicate the current system has reached its load limit. Given the location of the Lower Brule substation, 2 miles south of the Big Bend Damn, it is apparent Missouri River water will be used to produce electricity.
Soooo…..they toss a few crumbs with wind turbines…but what they don’t tell them is that the pipeline is going to require even more energy…and precious water to move the “peanut butter” through the lines…um-hmmm…
This is just stunning:
…the land isn’t even there now; it’s an oil mine; there was a lake there that was 200 miles long and 100 miles wide. Now, the elders are saying, for the first time, the shoreline is receding and the rocks at the bottom of the lake are exposed. Water is being taken from the rivers and lakes to support the destruction by the tarsands mine.
It’s really hard to imagine that much water being used. It’s gone. No longer usable by humans or animals.
This pipeline would destroy farmland and jobs, contrary to Big Oil myth. The First Nations are trying to support themselves with the food production, but once again Big Oil has other ideas. If you know anything about history, the Native Americans were moved to areas out West…once oil was discovered, suddenly they were in the way and once again moved. This continued on…and now we have the modern day version of it–pollute the land so it is no longer inhabitable.