Moments in which we are reminded of how fundamentally ruptured our dominant culture’s relationship with the Earth has become and in which we see before our eyes how this split has led to almost unfathomable acts of violence against the Earth, against women and against the original inhabitants of North America.Standing on the sweeping, golden prairie of North Dakota with the noxious flames of the Bakken fracking fields visible in all directions, one such moment descended with heavy weight.Williston, a mid-sized town just outside of Fort Berthold Reservation, has officially adopted the new town slogan “Boomtown, USA” and has been taken over by the industry to the point that it is almost unrecognizable to residents, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, whose families have lived there for generations.The population of Williston has doubled , maybe even quadrupled since 2010, however exact numbers are too hard to track due to the transient flow of labor and utter inability of local government to keep up.Rupp was referred for sexual assault of a girl under 13 years old.Both Rupp and Manning were referred for exposing a child to sexual activity.The population influx and housing demands had driven up rents to exorbitant rates rivaling New York City and San Francisco, squeezing out long-term residents and putting many at risk of homelessness. Department of Health and Human Services identified two small towns in the Bakken alongside four major cities (Boston, Houston, Atlanta and Oakland), as the places in the U.According to the state’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime, including murder, aggravated assault, rape and robbery increased by 125 percent between 20. S most in need of assistance to combat rampant sex and human trafficking.
Of the 12 million acres promised to the Three Affiliated Tribes by an 1851 treaty, less than 1 million acres have been delivered in the form of the Fort Berthold Reservation and now these remaining acres are being eaten away by destructive development, cultural dislocation and irremediable ecologic damage cause by the fracking industry.Rape of the Land, Rape of the Women “The Bakken” is a shale formation that spans some 25,000 square miles and covers much of western North Dakota, eastern Montana and the southern parts of two Canadian provinces.Since the early 2000’s, a boom in oil extraction has taken place in the region thanks to newly available hydraulic fracking technologies used to extract sticky, heavy oil from deep within shale rock.The massive worker influx and targeting of Indigenous communities are two such factors—flaring or the burning off of the natural gas extracted during the fracking process, is another. S, an average of just 1 percent of gas is flared, while the rest is captured and used as productive energy.In North Dakota, upwards of 26 percent is burned off, creating an additional source of volatile pollution and waste and serving as a testament to the industries flagrant disregard for the health of people and Earth in North Dakota.