American Indian Reservations, American Indians, Azarga, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw, Dakota Access Pipeline, Department of the Interior, Dewey Burdock, Dewey Burdock ISL Mine, Dewey Burdock uranium mine, DOI, Energy Transfer Partners, extractive economy, First Nations, First Peoples, genocide, Great Sioux Reservation, In Situ Leach, Indian Affairs, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous peoples, ISL, ISR, Kevin Washburn, life expectancy, Markwayne Mullin, mineral rights, mining, Native Americans, Navajo, Navajo Nation, North Dakota, Obama, oil and gas, Oklahoma, petroleum, Powertech, privatization, Reagan, Ross Swimmer, self-determination, South Dakota, Standing Rock Reservation, Tom Goldtooth, Treaties, Treaty Rights, Trump, Trump Native American Affairs Coalition, uranium mine, uranium mining, US government
Most American Indian Land was already “privatized”, over the course of hundreds of years, though the US government retained many mineral rights in western states. That didn’t work out so well for the American Indian-Alaskan Natives whose average economic poverty rate is almost twice that of the general US population.
The American Indian population of South Dakota has a life expectancy barely above that of Haiti. Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, already badly impacted by uranium mining contamination, and targeted by Azarga-Powertech for more uranium mining (Dewey-Burdock), is thought to have the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere, with the possible exception of Haiti. If some estimates are correct, it may actually be among the lowest in the world. Clearly uranium mining didn’t bring them health or wealth, nor will it.
Cherokee Nation Song: http://youtu.be/caCvDB9ivOE
Chair of Trump’s Native American Affairs team, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.)
Once the resources are gone, they are gone, and the land and water may be destroyed. The money given to the private mineral rights holder is a tiny fraction of that gotten by the oil-gas and mining companies. When the price of oil was high, and there was more easy money to be had, there was an undermining of the work ethic and other ethics, as a cursory look at oil-gas booms; mining booms, and oil and mining based economies makes clear. The bad ethics sometimes continue after the boom has gone bust.
From Common Dreams:
“Trump’s Advisers Want to Privatize Native Lands for Big Energy: Reuters
Co-chairs of Native American Affairs Coalition say they want to ‘take tribal land away from public treatment’, Published on Monday, December 05, 2016, by Nadia Prupis, staff writer
President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers are aiming to privatize Native American reservations that contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, Reuters reports.
Two chairmen of Trump’s Native American Affairs Coalition told the outlet that they want to put those lands into private ownership, a proposal that would upend historic policies put into place to preserve Indigenous sovereignty. The plan would deregulate drilling, which the coalition says would benefit the tribes who currently have the rights to use the land, but do not own it. In addition to holding about 20 percent of the nation’s oil and gas, the lands also include vast coal reserves—all worth an estimated $1.5 trillion.
Chair Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation” [Oklahoma] “, told Reuters, “We should take tribal land away from public treatment. As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country.”
Coming just as Native American water protectors cautiously celebrate a hard-fought victory against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the proposal is another example of Trump’s incendiary and divisive policies. Trump has also officially expressed his support for DAPL, making opponents wary that he would reverse any orders that blocked construction on the 1,172-mile project once he gets into office.
Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network and a member of the Navajo Nation, told Reuters, “Our spiritual leaders are opposed to the privatization of our lands, which means the commoditization of the nature, water, air we hold sacred. Privatization has been the goal since colonization—to strip Native Nations of their sovereignty.”
Trump’s transition team reportedly did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
Notably, three of the four coalition chairs have ties to the fossil fuel industry, with Mullin receiving about eight percent of his campaign funds from various energy companies. Ross Swimmer, another co-chair and ex-chief of the Cherokee Nation who also worked in the Reagan administration, is a partner at an investment firm with funds in Energy Transfer Partners—the builder of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Kevin Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation and former assistant secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior under President Barack Obama, warned that U.S. history is rife with treaty violations, especially when privatization is involved. “Privatization of Indian lands during the 1880s is widely viewed as one of the greatest mistakes in federal Indian policy,” he told Reuters.
Washburn added that with the specter of a Republican-majority Congress looming, as well as the possibility of Trump appointing conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, legal challenges to any such policy would be much harder to win.
“With this alignment in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court,” he said, “we should be concerned about erosion of self determination, if not a return to termination. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/12/05/trumps-advisers-want-privatize-native-lands-big-energy-reuters. (Emphasis our own; clarification that this is in Oklahoma added; embedded links at original.)
Many Americans got a glimpse of the what might go wrong with proposed privatization during the home foreclosure crisis: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/trump-treasury-pick-mnuchin-is-vulture-that-profited-from-home-foreclosures-and-bank-bailout-would-decide-how-to-regulate-biggest-banks/
Presumably the COO of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, who is in the running for another Trump Cabinet position benefited from this as well.
Unlike some people, we want to see the Trump presidency turn out good. But, it certainly isn’t looking promising, unless he wants to catch them doing something corrupt, remove them from office, and have them punished. That hope appears rather far-fetched.
The Cherokee Nation is one of three tribal groups: two are in Oklahoma and one stayed in North Carolina: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee
From 1978: “STATUS OF MINERAL RESOURCE INFORMATION FOR THE STANDING ROCK INDIAN RESERVATION, NORTH DAKOTA AND SOUTH DAKOTA“: “Only the development of potential petroleum and uranium resources promise to yield revenues to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe;…“. https://www1.eere.energy.gov/tribalenergy/guide/pdfs/standing_rock_41.pdf
“Poverty and race/ethnicity
The US Census declared that in 2014 14.8% of the general population lived in poverty:
10.1% of all white non-Hispanic persons
12.0% of all Asian persons
23.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race)
26.2% of all African American persons
28.3% of Native Americans / Alaska Natives
“Poverty among Native Americans
Poverty is also notoriously high on Native American reservations (see Reservation poverty). 7 of the 11 poorest counties in per capita income, including the 2 poorest in the U.S., encompass Lakota Sioux reservations in South Dakota… Poverty in the Pine Ridge Reservation in particular has had unprecedented effects on its residents’ longevity. “Recent reports state the average life expectancy is 45 years old while others state that it is 48 years old for men and 52 years old for women. With either set of figures, that’s the shortest life expectancy for any community in the Western Hemisphere outside Haiti, according to The Wall Street Journal.“Creative Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States#Poverty_and_race.2Fethnicity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Ridge_Indian_Reservation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservation_poverty
If the above life expectancy estimates are correct, Pine Ridge has a life expectancy comparable to the two lowest in the world – Swaziland and Lesotho: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN?year_high_desc=false
The life expectancy for American Indians in South Dakota is 68 years. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/life-expectancy-native-american. Compare to Haiti at 63.5. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/haiti
Dakota Access photos. Image above listed as released to Public Domain
 REUTERS: “POLITICS SPECIAL REPORTS | Mon Dec 5, 2016 | 9:39pm EST
Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations
By Valerie Volcovici | WASHINGTON“