Saturday, August 22, 2015

Keystone XL Oil Pipelines, pollution, pedophiles and abuse of Native Americans

“Man Camps” like this one near Watford City, North Dakota are breeding grounds for abuse against Native Americans.
The Keystone oil pipeline carries oil sands from Alberta, Canada to oil refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It runs south through North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. The Keystone XL, is a 1,179-mile shortcut that would go through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Getting oil sands out of the ground requires “fracking” -  a process which creates toxic environmental runoff and more air pollution than regular oil drilling. A leak from such a pipeline also causes more environmental damage than a leak from a standard oil pipeline. Much worse than the damage to the land is the damage to the people – especially the Native Americans who live near the pipelines.  “Man-camps” – housing set up for pipeline workers are breeding grounds for abuse against Native Americans.

At existing man camps in North Dakota (AP, 1/24/15), the region is already overrun with organized drug operations, sex trafficking and scammers. 'It's not Mayberry anymore,' U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon says of the Wild West mentality taking over the Bakken, ND oil fields.

But it gets worse.  Jacqueline Keeler reporting in Indian Country Today (8/19/15) talks about what workers who live in “Man Camps” would do to South Dakota tribes. Three of these camps would be built near territory of the Yankton Sioux, Rosebud Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes. The camps are managed by Target Logistics, which manages 12 such camps in Bakken.

At hearings before the South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission the pipeline builder—the energy giant TransCanada did not show that it could prevent damage that workers might do to residents of the nearby Yankton Sioux Reservation. TransCanada did not consult with local tribes, and there was no plan for dealing with criminal activity that their camp residents might commit. The company’s website quotes Dunn County Sheriff Clayton Coker as saying, “This place is a safe haven. . . . No fights, no thefts, no issues at all in here.”

But reports from Bakken paint a very different picture. There have been triple increases in trafficking, assault, abduction, domestic violence and sex crimes affecting neighboring Native American communities during the oil boom of the past five years.

Annita Lucchesi (Southern Cheyenne), who works for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Council, heard chilling remarks from Bakken workers. “They were saying, ‘Oh yeah, North Dakota is the f—ing best; in North Dakota you can take whatever pretty little Indian girl that you like, and you can do whatever you want, and police don’t give a f— about it ” she told Pacific Standard magazine. “To hear something like that—he was literally talking about kidnapping and raping girls in public at three in the afternoon—that is how bad it is,” said Lucchesi.

Grace Her Many Horses, a former Rosebud Sioux Tribe police chief, witnessed widespread crime when she worked in the Bakken on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. In 2014, she told the Rosebud Sioux newspaper,  “We found a crying, naked, four-year-old girl running down one of the roads right outside of the Man Camp. She had been sexually assaulted.” Man-on-man assault was also a problem; she told how a 15 year old boy had gone missing and was found in one of the man camps with an oil worker. They were passing him around from trailer to trailer. “It was scary,” she said.

TransCanada spokesperson Rick Perkins denied complaints about rape or sexual harassment, drugs or human trafficking at man camps run by Target Logistics.  Pressed by Yankton Sioux Tribal attorney Jennifer Baker, Perkins testified that in Target Logistics camps prostitution is not prohibited by the company’s code of conduct. Perkin said that neither Target Logistics nor TransCanada requires camp worker background checks for criminal records. Even registered sex offenders can work for the company or live in the camps. Also, the company subsidized training of local police forces so it is not surprising that the police deny any wrongdoing by the company.

Trans Canada is doing nothing to insure that rapes of children and adolescents in the new South Dakota camps will be prevented. This is just another case of those in power, like Pope Francis, priests, nuns and the catholic church – abusing the helpless and buying off the authorities.  Who else is sexually abusing children and defenseless adults? Do you have a story to tell? Let me know and I will write your story on this blog.  page 6 for full story