As stated in your article in the Feb. 2 edition, my husband, Dan Luker, is now in North Dakota with the Water Protectors of the Sioux tribe at Standing Rock. I want to appreciate Ryan Daly for interviewing him and writing the piece, and the Reporter for publishing the story of the Standing Rock struggle.
There are two things about the article I want to highlight. The statement that protestors were met with tear gas and water cannons “as they attempted to force their way through the barricades set up by police” is, I believe, not true nor substantiated. I would like readers to know that the reports from the Water Protectors tell a different story. Dan talked to several of them who were at the incident when law enforcement used “less than lethal” weapons (rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, etc.) and they all agree the Water Protectors were unarmed, peaceful, and not trying to force their way through the barricades.
Second, it is important for readers to know that the citizens of Bismark, ND, rejected the pipeline going through their city because it would endanger their drinking water. The pipeline was rerouted and their wishes were respected. However, this is not true of the Indians who requested an environmental impact statement (EIS), and opposed the pipeline on their land for the same reason. Their wishes are not being respected.
This is an ongoing systemic problem and I think people need to understand the double standard that has been operating for Native Americans for a long time.
I just wanted to clear these things up. Mostly I am delighted to have this story in our newspaper and hope you continue to carry news about the ongoing situation in North Dakota. The issues represented impact us all.