On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much in my life that has enjoyed so much joy and so many blessings in my 42 years. When I blog whether on my veterinary blogs or here, I usually aim to stay with positive messages. However, every now and then, I feel a duty to expose wrong doing in the world and advocate for a reversal of those wrongs.
It is rather ironic that Americans, the majority of which are of European decent, so enjoy the celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday that memorializes Native Americans having come to the aid of European settlers and feed them, clothe them, and help them survive the wilderness that North America of that time was.
European settlers and their descendants repaid that kindness by forcing Native Americans out of their lands, trampling on their rights, and relegating them to reservations with sub-par education and abysmal rampant poverty. Only in recent years have we really begun to embrace the beauty of Native American culture, spirituality, art, and of course the great sport of lacrosse that is the main topic of this blog.
What is occurring in North Dakota is yet another sad chapter in Native American relations within the U.S.. The peaceful protests of the Dakota Sioux Tribe against a pipeline that not only will run through and desecrate their sacred tribal lands, but also mar the landscape and threaten to poison their environment facing violence from the security personnel of Energy Transfer Partner and local North Dakota law enforcement is deplorable. So many atrocities already have been committed against Native Americans in the name of progress. Please join me in insuring that the Dakota Access Pipeline will not be yet another, perpetrated in a day and age that we know better!
I bid the Sioux Tribe who have continued to have the courage to protest in the face of brutality, unjust arrests, and even tear gas; the strength to persevere and protect your lands. I pray that Energy Transfer Partners will value respect for Native American heritage and lands over the mighty dollar. I pray that our government takes the side of Native Americans once and for all and protect their rights.
On this Thanksgiving, let us rally behind and protect Native Americans in defense against the Dakota Access Pipeline as selflessly as they came to the aid of the European Pilgrims all of those years ago.
Dr. Roger Welton was a 4 year starter for Montclair State University and was selected as a First Team All Knickerbocker Conference Midfielder in 1995, 1996. He is the founder of the Viera-Suntree Lacrosse Club and Space Coast Elite Lacrosse Club in Brevard County, Florida.