Tag Archives: Lakota

Standing Rock: Energy independence vs. environmental safety

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Wars over oil replaced by drilling at home
America got involved in a huge war in Iraq primarily over control of oil. America also wanted the dollar to still be used by Iraq instead of the Euro, so the war was in essence a bullying session at great expense to both nations. Third, the war cmbined with the Afghanistan invasion also was about improving our military position near Iran. All three of these political objectives make logical sense. But, fighting huge wars for such small goals seems corrupt and not worth it. The solution is to create our own energy at home. And since our nation is so large, especially when you include Alaska, there are lots of energy opportunities.

Drilling at home weakens the Arabs
America and Canada started finding new and improved ways to drill for oil in our own lands without depending on the Middle-Easterners which was a great idea. Many of the Gulf countries are going under financially now that America is in competition with them for oil production as the cost of oil has gone down. Weakening countries engaged in terrorism or engaged in supporting others do terrorism seems like a reasonable national goal.

But, fracking & offshore drilling are bad for mother earth
The problem is that America doesn’t know when to stop exploiting the land for resources. Moderate drilling for oil in safe places makes sense. But, what about offshore drilling? That can create spills that are impossible to completely clean up that are devastating to the environment. And fracking is much worse as it pollutes ground water and does long term damage to whatever region it is done in. Many people claim that fracking increases the rate of cancer many times over. I personally don’t know what the truth is, but creating environmentally unsafe conditions for temporary profit are extremely bad in the long run. America needs to find clean and safe ways to lead the world of energy.

Standing Rock Protests
Right now, the native folks at Standing Rock are protesting a pipeline that is going to go over a river. They know that if there is damage to the pipe sometime in the future, that the environmental consequences will be hard to control. Additionally, since the rivers from North Dakota feed into the Mississippi river, if you pollute one river, you pollute the entire network of rivers. The claims about long-term environmental risk made at Standing Rock make sense — and our government should start listening if they want a planet that their children can inherit.

Worldwide environmental standards are necessary
The solution to the problem seems to be three-fold. First as a nation and as a planet, we need clearly defined environmental standards and goals. There should ideally be a worldwide government in charge of environmental safety to regulate countries like… well… all of us. Brazil is cutting down their rainforest, America is fracking, and China is polluting. We all need to wake up and regulate.

The second solution is to find alternatives to drilling. Solar energy is currently more expensive than oil, but doesn’t have to continue to be. If more research was put into the efficient construction of solar energy farms, it would be more cost effective, and with no damage to the environment. Additionally, energy from corn based ethanol are also solutions. The problem is that the price of food is so high, that ethanol can not be a competitive alternative to oil. The only way to reduce the price of food staples is to reduce the population of the planet — but, reducing the population would also create a reduction in oil prices. Do we have to wait until the oil is almost all used up before we find alternative energy resources?

Last, having more efficient ways of using fuel seems to make sense. Hybrid cars are helping people save energy. Van-pooling and ride sharing are becoming more popular these days as well. More efficient models for distributing goods nationwide would be yet another way to save on fuel. More efficient train and truck systems of transportation would be part of that solution.

I hope we can meet our energy needs without destroying our planet. The bigger issue is getting the people in power as well as regular folks to see that our environment is one of the most important issues of the day — and if it doesn’t get solved, we’ll all be very very sorry.

If the Lakota people would network with those outside their tribe and outsource!

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We normally think of India and the Philipines when we think of outsourcing. But, we have local people who suffer from horrible unemployment. Native American tribes normally live out in the middle of nowhere. They are far from cities, far from work, and just don’t have a lot to do.

What if someone created a call center in or near the Lakota nation? The cost of labor is not high, and lots of people are willing to work. The problem is that their level of experience has not been developed.

People who live in the middle of nowhere need businesses that thrive in the condition of being nowhere. Remote is the keyword here. Call centers, data entry facilities, farming, RV camps, and internet businesses can do quite well while being nowhere. In fact, call centers do better when nowhere because the cost of land is low. Another interesting factor is that the stress level at a call center would be less if people worked near the ocean or in the middle of nowhere. It is more relaxing there and the relaxing attributes of the landscape counteract the stress of the job.

Cottage industries should be encouraged for those living in or near native reservations. It is not easy or cost-effective to get outside capital. But, creating mini-industries at home or in a small office space or industrial space doing basic tasks for a low price make perfect sense to get a business off the ground.

But, what about networking? In a greater sense, Native Americans are isolated partly because of their geography. But, also do to a lack of social networking. You could live near others, but if there is no way to connect to them, you would be socially isolated. Lakota people are regaining their culture these days as they came close to losing their language. They need to network with people from their tribe or other tribes living outside of the reservation for cultural and business activities. They also need to network with mixed-race people who probably feel left out. Additionally, Native Americans need to network with people who used to be Native American in a past life but were reincarnated into Hindus, whites, or some other community. The more connected you are, the more ideas will flow, and the more opportunities have the chance to be offered to you. By living in isolation, you can’t receive anything because nobody even knows you are there.

The Lakota language also needs to recover which is an entirely different topic. But, I’ll include it here since it is sentimental to me even though I only know one word of the language. Language is learned best by people who are three or four years old. Since so few people speak the Lakota language, those few thousand linguistic human assets should be allocated to spending lots of time with the 3-7 year old folks and speak only the Lakota language. Then, to maintain the language, work environments on the reservation need to be set up where only that language is spoken. But, that is the whole problem that I have been addressing in this article. There isn’t a strong work culture. Two hundred years ago, there was 100% employment in the Lakota tribe as men, women, and children all were assigned a task. After the buffalo were killed off and the US government took over most of the land, the Lakota traditional way of life was demolished, and the people were not able to adapt to other types of lifestyles.

My recommendation — adapt!
Culture never stays the same, and neither do languages, souls, or anthing else. The only thing that is constant is change. As living organisms, we adapt or die out. Since native culture is so sentimental to many of us, it is very sad to see their culture die out. So, the solution is to adapt!

The old way of life involved living in connection to buffalo. Food, clothing, shelter, and tools all came from parts of the buffalo. In older times when human populations were lower and more natural, buffalos roamed wild. Those days are over, but buffalos can still be farmed in free-range style farming. I feel that the Lakota people should focus on being ranchers and breeding their sacred animal that they feel they descended from (perhaps they mean spiritually descended from.)

I feel that cottage industries in outsoucing specialties could save the Lakota people too. After all, Lakotas speak English as their first language, and that is something call centers in foreign countries cannot capitalize on as their English is not native!

Next, traditional arts are very popular world-wide, yet Native Americans don’t normally have good marketing skills. The skills of production are there, but there is always some Lebanese guy who makes a killing on marketing native goods. Why can’t native people learn to sell their own goods in an efficient way? Good marketing skills could open up huge markets for pottery, beads, paintings, and other native art which could create tremendous employment opportunities. Additionally, adaptations on traditional arts such as native mouse pads, sofas with Native Americna apolstery, website development using native art, and anything else you can think of.

Finally, there are other businesses that would work well out in the middle of nowhere. RV Parks, tortilla factories, cultural classes, clothing manufacturing, solar panel manufacturing, wind power manufacturing, and more. I discourage the casino business as it is not holistic and leads to addition and unhealthy outcomes which reflect poorly spiritually on the community.