DENVER -- At the beginning of his Politics Unplugged interview about the Dakota Access Pipeline, Politics Unplugged host Marshall Zelinger asked Metropolitan State University of Denver professor Dr. David Heska Wanbli Weiden what he tells people about the controversial pipeline plan when they ask him about it.
“It’s really about three things. It’s about water. It’s about native sovereignty and it’s about protection of sacred sites,” Dr. Weiden said. “The water issue is that the pipeline is going to pass within two miles of the Standing Rock Sioux reservations. It’s going to pass directly under the Missouri River and Lake Oahe and if there is a spill that will devastate the drinking water for the reservation.”
For the time being, the Army Corps of Engineers have said no to the proposed plan, saying a new route should be investigated. Protesters have stayed on the site since that decision was made, fearful President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office next month.
The professor doesn’t believe the controversy is going to end any time soon.
“My view is this is the most significant event in Native American events and issues in over 40 years,” Weiden told Zelinger. “I believe there is a new focus on native American issues and I believe that the world and the country are drawing their attention upon this and I believe we will see an increased focus on American Indians and our issues.”
Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4 p.m. on Denver7.