While Not on the Ballot, the Future of the Keystone XL Pipeline is at Stake in Today’s Election

Haskell Indian Nations University students produced their own take on Native Vote campaign posters. Brian Johnson produced this poster with model Charmayne Eldrige.  Both students are from the Navajo Nation. As the election nears, tribes and organizations are using a variety of strategies to make sure every vote counts.

Haskell Indian Nations University students produced their own take on Native Vote campaign posters. Brian Johnson produced this poster with model Charmayne Eldrige.
Both students are from the Navajo Nation.

Commentary

Today is Election Day throughout the United States. It is your opportunity to cast your vote in this election.

During this election season, this publication has run a series of columns by Mark Trahant on the importance of Native voting. Yesterday’s column was entitled: “Yes, it’s an imperfect system but the Native vote is worth counting.” This publication concurs.

While there are many things American Indians and Alaska Native oppose about the government’s treatment of our people, it is our time to be part of the process to bring about positive change. Voting allows that opportunity.

There are issues that impact the lives of Native people that are voted on by those who are elected.

While not specifically on the ballot, issues such as the future of Keystone XL pipeline are indirectly on the ballot in this election. It is important to look at candidate’s position on issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline.

For instance, in South Dakota, Senator Tim Johnson, who has been popular among American Indian tribes there, is retiring. Senate candidate, Rick Weiland, who wants to fill Johnson’s seat, supports the American Indian tribes’ opposition to the pipeline that, if passed, will come close to the water supply line that runs between the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations.

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer and Rick Weiland campaigning

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer and Rick Weiland campaigning

Upon the establishment of a spirit camp in March 2014 to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, President Cyril “Whitey” Scott made the following statement:

“We’re trying to devise plans to protect the people from these things like KXL. We’ve made an oath to protect you and we’re going to do that.”

Voting for the candidate who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline is an essential element to the plan President Scott referenced.

VOTE today! Your vote can impact our future in Indian Country!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email