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Request[AMA Request] John Krasinski

Apr 7th 2018 by TheWeedsiah • 7 Questions • 1202 Points

Hello Redditors, my name is Charles Walker and I serve on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council.

You may remember us from standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which we continue to fight in court. Our Tribe recently submitted a report to the Army Corps highlighting the dangerous impacts of the pipeline on our people and homeland (there is a link to the report below), and we are preparing for a spill.

The Dakota Access Pipeline has already leaked five times along its route, and our Tribe's report to the Army Corps shows that the current leak detection system can't detect all spills under our water supply. At this time a spill of more than 11,000 barrels per day would go undetected, and would devastate our homeland. The impacts of spills and leaks on our community have not been properly addressed by the Army Corps, and they are unable to address a worst case oil discharge. And so we started a Clean Water Campaign so that we can establish a water safety system, which involves water monitoring systems, training a response team and purchasing equipment for spill response.

You can learn more about the Clean Water Campaign here: www.YouCaring.com/StandingRockCleanWater

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Report: (https://www.standingrock.org/sites/default/files/uploads/srst_impacts_of_an_oil_spill_2.21.2018.pdf) [Our website is down at this time, but it should be back up in an hour or so hopefully!]

Link to our Facebook/Twitter: https://twitter.com/StandingRockST https://www.facebook.com/Standing-Rock-Sioux-Tribe-402298239798452/

Proof: https://imgur.com/dsblYlo

Q:

Did you type this by smashing your forehead into your keyboard?

A:

Hi, I run a chapter of student engineers who develop clean water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. We are starting a domestic team this year. What can we do you help communities like yours ?


A:

Reaching out directly to the Tribe is your best bet, we'll message you with an email address! Thank you for thinking of us.


Q:

[removed]

A:

What can the average Redditor do to help not only your people, but all Native Americans?


Q:

Added contact info

A:

To support Standing Rock they can donate to our Clean Water Campaign to help us prepare for a oil spill and ensure water safety, and you can continue to reach out to your representatives and advocate for the rights of Standing Rock and other Tribes. There are other Tribes dealing with the same issues today like for example Navajo land has some pipeline issues.


Q:

Without access to the report I ask is there a "good" place to build the pipeline, or a cost effective way to transport it without building the pipeline? Do you think the government will abide the courts decision and not try to get around it by slight changes or executive presidential orders?

A:

The way the system is set up, it's always set up against us as people and Tribes. From the very beginning our treaties have been broken, we've always upheld our end, but the other end hasn't been honored. It's not realistic to be positive for the future, we must be prepared for the government and companies to circumvent our joint agreement between two nations. As for there being a good place to build it, they could have explored other alternatives aside from the alternative north of Bismarck. The route north of Bismarck was denied because of fears of contaminating their water supply. So the question then arises why does our people's water supply matter less?


Q:

What other ways has the protests made a difference in the community? Do you know the status of the Mni Wiconi free medical clinic that funds were raised for?

A:

It has brought the people together, the people of Standing Rock who may have had a different set of opinions this was the first time we all gathered together for a cause to protect our homelands.

As for the medical clinic I do not know, that was completely out of the control of the Tribe as far as I understand that was its own thing.


Q:

Do you feel Standing Rock's message was successful? How so / why not?

And since Standing Rock I have noticed that there has been an increase in native / first nations activism! Do you feel this will continue? If so, where do you hope it ends up?

Edit: one more! Edit2: words

Do you feel that this activism has been beneficial to your youth. I read about the Lakota teens going to DC, do you have hope that they will be heard?

A:

First question: First of all the pipeline happened, the pipeline is laid and there's oil flowing and so in that aspect, no. It wasn't as successful as we would have liked it to be sure, and it was successful in that it brought people together, bringing Tribes and Nations together, bringing members of the Oceti Sakowin together, that we stood in solidarity together against the pipeline, and together for the rights of all Indigenous people.

Second Question: Yes, I don't know if it's been an increase but it's certainly brought a light to it. Social media has been this new avenue to highlight these different activists, it has given a voice to Native communities to stand up against what goes against our values. I do hope it continues, it's our hope that people stand up for human rights.

Third Question: Yes, it has been very beneficial for our youth, it has shown them that their voices are heard at the Tribal and national level. It's amplified their voice and we are very proud of them.


Q:

What’s your favorite kind of cheese 🧀?

A:

Pepperjack cheese! Next!


Q:

How long did it take to clean up the mess the protesters left?

A:

I don't have that timeframe off the top of my head, it took several weeks to clean up the mess.