Native Americans In Danger After Trump’s Pick For Senate Indian Committee Chair (DETAILS)


Trump seems to have an affinity for appointing cabinet members who are vehemently opposed to anything helpful their posts should stand for. Betsy DeVoes, Trump’s new Secretary of Education, is opposed to the public school system. David M. Friedman, the new ambassador to Israel, wants to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Palestine. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s new Attorney General, is opposed to laws guaranteeing freedom of religion for Muslims.

Now meet his new Chair of the Senate Indian Committee, John Hoeven.  When Native Americans in North Dakota opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline, Hoeven had this to say:

‘There has always been a good relationship between tribal and nontribal members in North Dakota. That relationship has been strained, however, by protesters who have come from around the country with a variety of agendas, and who have been willing to engage in violence and break the law…As a result, Chairman Archambault should work with other state leaders to get people to leave the illegal campsite…The Dakota Access Pipeline can be built safely, protecting the tribe and all other downstream interests in accordance with the law and all applicable regulations. If the tribe still opposes the project, their concerns should be addressed through the court system, rather than through protests that impede or interfere with the lawful construction of the project.’

The problem wasn’t that an oil pipeline might destroy the water system it could leak into, it was those darned protesters. Protests cause problems. Oil spills, apparently, do not, according to Hoeven.

Hoeven’s solution to Native American concerns was to increase the militarized police force already brutally abusing those who protested the contamination of their drinking water. Instead of listening, compromising, or reducing the police force brutalizing Native Americans, Hoeven believed the people concerned about having clean water should end up tied up in court for years while corporate interests took precedence. After all, “construction of the project” should not be impeded. That’s more important than the human right to clean drinking water.

Native Americans hoping for any type of support from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chair are woefully out of luck, just as those who want their children to get a better education than they did to escape poverty, anyone who hoped for a peaceful resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, or anyone seeking religious freedom protections who isn’t a Christian.

Welcome to the United States of America under Trump. It’s going to be a long four years.

To remind yourself of what Hoeven was supporting, see video below:

Featured image via Getty/Pacific Press

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