Environmental Hardships

ENG 214 Infograph
There is energy everywhere, but finding the correct source for reliable energy is difficult acquire. Humans need food for the energy they expel, but cultivating and manufacturing these sources of fuel requires force for continued momentum. When the industrial revolution came into reality, business deprived the people of the western world of much of their natural resources to maintain the explosion of energy hungry industry and manufacturing. This led the European states to declare eras of exploration in establishing lower costs of trade, but rather to find new resources to supply the homeland that is in need. It is a simple understanding of economics supply and demand theory that was applied in the exploration for cheap and reliable income for industry. Unsurprisingly there was violence in the pursuit for claimed ownership as well as the defense of the family and religious ways of life, most like how other conflicts have arisen in the past and present since war never changes, one of the best practices man knows how to enact upon themselves.

The Native Americans and other indigenous people around the world have faced, and continue to face, this type of invasion of the European world directly and indirectly, even as the initial shock of colonialism and imperialism has worn off. The beginning of New World resources were human beings themselves, taken away from their lands to the European world or used to work in slave labor conditions in search for gold. Though different nations had their own manifests to what t
hey would expect from these new worlds, the government and later business would see these indigenous people as threats to their interests and markets. Whether it be in search for gold, or deforestation for the majesties property, or for land the citizens of politics could live and jeff_fennell_-_devils_tower_28by29develop their own lives; native people would be forcefully removed and relocated to make way if disease hadn’t overcome their lives first. This separation of land and loss of life affected the spiritual beliefs of the native people, removed and limited of their scared churches and religious grounds (Broze, 2015). The religion of the Native Americans is seen as primitive and barbaric, yet they and the beliefs are that to keep the world healthy and alive for the rest of us to take care of her precious gift of life.  Modern business threatens this philosophy by enacting market ideology for making a profit in no regard to what their benefit gets exploited since money is more important in the eyes of capitalistic mentality than the environment.

The industrial revolution has seen an increase in manufacturing and product output, at the expense of the people and the environment. The search for minerals have led to poisoning and scaring of the land, sterilizing the lands while creating unsafe and unhealthy living conditions for the people living around these effected areas. The Bay Area is a great example of this issue, with mercury from the Gold Rush into the Bay killing and poisoning the food supply for other species as well as humans (Rapps, n.d.). Scientists have seen the greenhouse gases increase as a byproduct of consuming energy of the sun that has been
stored within the Earth for millions of years, and with increased levels in greenhouse materials causes warming of the Earth and establishing a domino effect on how the world gets destroyed (350, 2015).

Currently here in the United States, the news media and government have been bringing the attention of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Many corporations and government officials claim that this is one of the safest and cleanest pipelines in the world, delivering crude oil from Canadian tar sands to the Golf Coast of the United States (Caroom, 2014). This was some of the lobbying efforts that was done for Congress to approve this intercontinental pipeline, but the pipeline has seen its impact on the land around it’s’ construction (Goldtooth, 2015).  The pipeline runs through most of the Midwest down to the Golf, in turn bridging over rivers and fertile land. But what is rarely talked about is how this pipeline will affect the Native American population and what little land they have left since the pipeline run directly through many of their lands. The problems of the leDCF 1.0aking pipes that have been recorded seeps into the water supply of the native population, endangering them through the poison of oil and infertility of land (Goldtooth, 2015). The indigenous people were never informed about the pipelines that will run through their land, directly negating laws that establish some sovereignty through free, prior, and informed consent. Though the United States government has regularly disregarded such right of self-determination toward its Native indigenous, the Canadian government is likewise wiggling around the law to extract these tar sand on sacred First Nation lands.  Pipe through the land of Native Americans is easy to pull off on behalf of the governments since this land is labeled as federal reserve land rather than native land, while making the argument that the pipeline delivers cheap oil while creating jobs according to the Cornell University on Labor (Cornell, 2011).  Contemporarily speaking, the issues of land today have had similar actions and responses by the government and indigenous people alike, yet have been under more peaceful measures than the past conflicts of colonization.
Though the times of bounty hunting and other governmental mandates towards Native Americans have drifted away from the present day, indigenous people still face hardships brought on by the United States government and private interests in their lives. These public and private powers control many of our lives while exploiting those of the vulnerable populous, which include third world nations (Ahiakpor, n.d.).  James Ahiakpor believes that colonial efforts on people that have not industrialized is beneficial for their survival in the modern age, yet his religious affiliation makes this quite ironical since the religious institutions have inflected these pains and drifted away from communal to individual living.  Though Native Americans live in the political boundaries of various nations in the America’s, a majority of the land that they reside on is underfunded and underrepresented land that the government is obligated to protect creating poverty in these communities (Krogstad, 2014). With these nations in such political and economic derisory, it allows mining and power corporations to take advantage of this “third world sovereignty” to further destroy our environment (Regan, 2014). These environmental impacts range from pollution of the air and land to the lobotomy of the earth itself (Shogren, 2012; Broze, 2015). The lives directly impacted with environmental as well as personal damages have little say and influence, why isn’t the government protecting these Native Americans land and ways of life while making the environment worse?

The answer is quite simple, money. Contributor to Forbes Magazine Shawn Regan states that the Allotment Act of the nineteenth century made it difficult for tribal governments to pool their little given resources together, due to the new idea of individual land ownership instituted on the people who viewed the land as a blessing (Regan, 2014). He continues to point out that even if nations did have resources, such as coal or oil, their native government cannot engage in international trade as for that they are on land still owned by the federal government (Regan, 2014). Denying the opportunity of economic prosperity directly violates the core beliefs that United States citizens hold, yet the policies are implemented so the United States can choose how its land is used. Without the use of what little resources that the Native American nations have, this stunts the ability to create jobs which, according to Jens Krogstad of Pew Research, is the largest contributing factor of reservation poverty due to high unemployment (Krogstad, 2014). The lack of economic opportunity creates the poverty, leading to the inability to defend itself in the legal system against those with money and power.

The Acton Institute’s James Ahiakpor believes that these multinational corporations benefit the people who are impoverished, creating the opportunity for jobs and other economic benefits (Ahiakpor, n.d.). The Acton Institute is a religious study group, which colonization of native lands was primarily influenced by European religious zealots which came up with such phrases as “Manifest Destiny.” 316px-american_progressI felt that this view is important to establish since these multinational corporations feel they are doing some economic good around the world, yet this is similar mentality that encroached upon Native Americans land during the “classical” era of colonization. Colonialism is thought to be over, but Derrick Broze of Mint Press establishes the continuing colonization through legislative means to strip the rights of the Apache people’s sacred sites to Resolution Mining company, a foreign multinational corporation possessing land rights on the Apache land (Broze, 2015). This directly violates what the Marshall Supreme Court cases in the early 1800’s, establishing the native people as “domestic dependent nations” and “wards of the federal government” requiring the government to protect them. Due to the government selling these land rights to these corporations, the environment is being harmed by the work they do with little regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, NPR’s Elizabeth Shogren reports that the EPA has been in loopholes in what their power is in protecting the environment from these polluters (Shogren, 2012). Although the EPA was founded by the people wanting environmental justice, their influence and power have gotten bought out by companies that have the most to lose if the EPA worked properly.

The sad fact of these corporations is the how they control how the people live their lives, promoting their products to even how we think. Here in California, our state is referred to as the “Golden State” due to our mining of gold in the mid 1800’s, to our modern mining efforts on Native American lands (Johnson, 2013). As history has been repeating itself, the corporate and influence has branched into our education system, continuing long held beliefs that began with the government (Speed, 2014). According to Shannon Speed of the Huffington Post, the Texas School Board of Education is just another perpetrating this lack of education of the general population since the School Board produces the greater market of educational textbooks in America, producing products that appeal to their conservative interests (Speed, 2014). These conservative activists want to promote that America has done no wrong yet anything other than this belief, including the majority of the lies they promote, would be “Anti-American” (Speed, 2014).

The irony is the fact that this is the American way of life, proving that this is not an Anti-American ideal. With this mentality, excluding Native Americans from a greater majority of history textbooks and media is to no surprise. Changing this mentality may be difficult, but not impossible. But lacking change is detrimental to us as a nation, losing our American belief of freedom if we do not enforce them. Native American’s maybe seen as being unable to adapt to the times, but rather change is at the core of their spiritual beliefs. For instance, I never knew any of this information upon arriving to college from the lack of information given in text books on Native Americans, and the information given were one sided to even promote the actions of Columbus or Custer. My education on the subject is something I am proud I have the opportunity for, but saddens me that I can see that a majority of Americans are oblivious to what history this United States was founded on at the exploitation’s of the original Americans. When I tell friends, family, and others my minor in American Indian Studies, most of their reactions are that of confusion. Mostly as to why I would peruse knowledge in obvious dark history of America. My father encompasses this belief perfectly by making statements such as, “the actions of the government were justifiable since the Indians were primitive and killed people” to even ” what new issues are there in American Indian life, because I can’t think of any.” Though my father is my hero, I do not blame him for his ignorance, I blame the education system that has their own agendas by a select few to appease their kickback providers increasing the ignorance of the masses to destroy the lives of Native American lifestyles and environment.

Works Cited:

350.org (2015, October). The science. In About. Retrieved from 350.org http://350.org/about/science/

Ahiakpor, James. (n.d.). Multinational Corporations in the Third World: Predators or Allies in Economic Development? Acton Institute. Retrieved October 24, 2015. http://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-2-number-5/multinational-corporations-third-world-predators-o

Broze, Derrick. (2015, August 1). Arizona Apache Mobilize Against Bill Which Hands Sacred Native American Land To Mining Company. MintPress News. Retrieved October 24, 2015. http://www.mintpressnews.com/arizona-apache-continue-to-fight-bill-which-hands-sacred-native-american-land-to-mining-company/208194/

Carmoom, E. (2014, January 24). Heavy Louisiana Sweet Drops as Keystone Starts Texas Deliveries. Retrieved October 3, 2015. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-01-24/heavy-louisiana-sweet-drops-as-keystone-starts-texas-deliveries

Cornell University (2011, September). Pipe dreams? In Jobs gained, jobs lost by Keystone XL Pipeline (23-30). Retrieved from Cornell University. http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/sites/ilr.cornell.edu/files/GLI_keystoneXL_Reportpdf.pdf

FAR FROM INEVITABLE: The Risks of and Barriers to Tar Sands Expansion. (2014, December 1). Retrieved October 3, 2015. https://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/tag/keystone-xl-pipeline/

Goldtooth, D. (2015, January 9). Keystone XL would destroy our native lands. This is why we fight. Retrieved October 3, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/09/keystone-xl-would-destroy-native-lands-we-fight

Krogstad, Jens. (2014, June 13). One-in-four Native Americans and Alaska Natives are living in poverty. Pew Research Center. Retrieved October 24, 2015. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/06/13/1-in-4-native-americans-and-alaska-natives-are-living-in-poverty/

Rapps, E. (n.d.). A gold myth: The truth behind the California gold rush. Retrieved October 3, 2015. http://historymatters.appstate.edu/sites/historymatters.appstate.edu/files/Eric%20Rapps%20Final_1.pdf

Regan, Shawn (2014, March 14) 5 Ways The Government Keeps Native Americans In Poverty. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/03/13/5-ways-the-government-keeps-native-americans-in-poverty/2/

Shogren, Elizabeth. (2012, November 15). Loophole Lets Toxic Oil Water Flow Over Indian Land. NPR. Retrieved October 24, 2015. http://www.npr.org/2012/11/15/164688735/loophole-lets-toxic-oil-water-flow-over-indian-land

Speed, S. (2014, November 21). “Pro-American” History Textbooks Hurt Native Americans. Retrieved November 16, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-speed/proamerican-history-textb_b_6199070.html

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline? (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from https://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/tag/keystone-xl-pipeline/


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