Ryan Zinke (U.S. Secretary of the Interior) Visiting North Dakota
By Lisa DeVille
President, Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (POWER)
Secretary Zinke, welcome to North Dakota! My name is Lisa DeVille, and I'm a citizen of the Mandan, Hidsatsa, and Arikara n
ation located on Fort Berthold, located in the heart of the Bakken oilfields.
I hope that you take this opportunity to learn more about our great state and the people who live here. Did you know that North Dakota is home to five Indian Reservations? Our tribes have been on this land for centuries, we are a large part of North Dakota's rich history.
In our culture, we are taught to respect life and all living things. We are also taught the Earth is our mother, and she is a living being. All things within are also living. Which is why our group, Fort Berthold Protectors of Water & Earth Rights have been fighting for clean air protections for the last 3 years by working on the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste Prevention Rule.
I invite you, Secretary Zinke to come to the Bakken and take a look at what the constant flaring of oil and gas has been doing to our lands. North Dakota may believe that they have flaring under control but on Tribal lands -- under federal jurisdiction, the rules are much different. We need federal rules that will protect us and not the oil companies that are here temporarily.
I invite you to come to Mandaree to see the view from my house. The night sky is lit for miles. The constant noise of flares sound like jet engines roaring 24 hours a day. We can't see what's being burned off, but we are definitely breathing it in.
The United States Department of the Interior is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans. Which includes upholding the federal Indian trust responsibility to protect our treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources.
I also ask that you witness the destruction of our air quality for yourself. And once you see what we constantly live with, I ask that you uphold the 2017 BLM's Methane Waste Prevention Rule and protect communities like mine.