President Obama has just risen to the challenge and listened to all of our voices to reject the current route of the Dakota Access pipeline. I commend our president for doing the right thing and thank the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the protectors from across the country for working so fearlessly for this outcome.
The issues facing Indian Country are many and they are complex, but that should not stop those of us in positions of elected leadership from seeking to make a difference wherever and whenever we can.
Back in September, days after the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline began, I spoke out against the aggressive tactics being used against the demonstrators and called on President Obama to intervene. The Obama Administration quickly announced that they were putting a halt to the project until they could respond to the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by establishing better tribal consultation.
Last week, I again urged the President to seek a peaceful resolution that respected the desire of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their water and historic sacred sites and to keep Camp Oceti Sakowin open to demonstrators after an arbitrary date had been set to close it.
No pipeline is worth more than the respect we hold for our Native American neighbors. No pipeline is worth more than the clean water that we all depend on. This pipeline was not worth the life of a single protester.
I will continue to defend and protect tribal sovereignty and explore ways to improve the tribal consultation process for projects like this one so the voices and expertise from Native communities are always taken into account.
Please contact me on this or any other issue of importance to you.
United States Senator
United States Senator
Dear Senator Heinrich:
As I travel the West in my vintage Hummer, a 1996 Geo Tracker with 4WD, I rarely pay attention to politics. It's not that I don't care, it's that I feel totally impotent. But when I read notes like the one regarding your position on the Dakota Pipeline, something I'd never even heard of, I was moved to tears.
As an aging (I'll turn 64 in a few days) hippie, I *still* haven't lost sight of the values our generation extolled. Not least was the recognition that for humanity to go forward we needed to change our attitude toward the environment and each other.
Finding common ground in these times seems more difficult than ever so I want to commend you on your courage in what must have been a difficult decision. And although it may be of little consequence. your decision will, as I travel, enable me to even *more* proudly acknowledge being from New Mexico.
Impotence is rough, but pride in one's representative goes a long way toward mitigating it.
Mil Gras !!!!
Wahnfried der Nomad