Image by Heather Hay, Story by Edward Oelcher
Engineering major Shiela Hollow Horn said she wants all students to say no to the Dakota Access Pipeline (also known as DAPL) from polluting natural clean water.
Hollow Horn is directly involved in protesting DAPL locally in Albuquerque and nationally, she said.
“I am Lakota our tribe runs right along the Missouri River. So many tribes and reservations feel like it will directly affect them,” she said.
For those who have not heard about DAPL protests Hollow Horn said it is a peaceful protest.
“I’m proud of Albuquerque and the amount of support shown. People have all come together. We have support from around the world it is so positive and that’s actually going to make a change, people acknowledging this,” she said.
According to standingrockfactchecker.org , DAPL is a 1,172-mile pipeline being constructed in which they argue, “it is by far the safest way to transport energy liquids and gases.”
While according to a recent survey from 2010-2015 more than 350,000 barrels of pipeline spills occurred, the US Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reported.
The United States government signed a treaty that no one outside the tribes including the government will have access to that land which is why DAPL is in direct violation of that treaty, Hollow Horn said.
When they are running a pipeline it is high risk of poisoning the waters, particularly the Missouri River which runs through several states, oil spills occur each year many times, Hollow Horn said.
“This is a problem for everyone it doesn’t matter your race, religion, background, because fresh water is essential to all life not just human beings,” Hollow Horn said.
Despite what is shown in the media the protesters are peaceful, but that is not what people will hear or see from the news broadcast stations, she said.
The main goal for being there is showing up to stop construction, these people are known as water protectors, she said.
They have successfully halted construction almost on a daily basis, until another court date is scheduled, even chaining themselves to heavy machinery, Hollow Horn said.
“Even President Barack Obama has acknowledged the protest,” she said.
Hatuk Hill, Hollow Horn’s husband, who is involved through American Indian Movement’s social media said, “We all have jobs to do but this is the only chance we have against huge corporations.”
People can get involved by writing congress and always asking questions, it is not a matter of how but when will they occur with oil spills, Hill said.
“My goal is to leave this Earth better than when I came into it, that is why we need to help protest DAPL,” Hill said.
Both Hill and Hollow Horn said that DAPL is still an ongoing issue.