Opinion: A Judge Has Restored An Oil Lease on Land That Is Sacred to American & Canadian Tribes

Daniella Cressman
"A federal judge on Friday ordered the Biden administration to reinstate a drilling lease that has been in dispute for decades on land near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation that is considered sacred to Native American tribes in the U.S. and Canada." —Matthew Brown (Associated Press)

For far too long, Native Americans have been ostracized and condemned by mainstream society: sacred lands have been taken, their customs and traditions have not only been minimized but also mocked, and now a stretch of sacred land has been taken from them to support drilling that will worsen climate change when we are already in dire straits.

"The 10-square-mile oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area of northwestern Montana was first issued in 1982. It was cancelled in 2016 under then-U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, at the request of the Blackfoot tribes and conservation groups. There have been efforts to declare the area a national monument or make it a cultural heritage area, and tribal leaders have bitterly opposed drilling in recent decades." —Matthew Brown (Associated Press)

In yet another display of negligence and carelessness towards Native American tribes and their traditions, Judge Richard Leon ordered Interior Department Officials to reinstate the lease.

"[Richard Leon] ordered Interior Department officials to reinstate the lease and issue a drilling permit to Solenex LLC, the Louisiana company that holds the lease. Leon issued a similar order in 2018 that was later overturned on appeal." —Matthew Brown (Associated Press)

The Badger-Two-Medicine is adjacent to Glacier National Park and is the creation story site of Blackfoot tribes in Montana and Canada, making this decision sacrilegious.

"The Badger-Two-Medicine is adjacent to Glacier National Park and is the site of the creation story of the Blackfoot tribes of southern Canada and Montana’s Blackfeet Nation. The Blackfeet had intervened in the case on the side of the government, and tribal Historic Preservation Officer John Murray said the fight against drilling would continue." —Matthew Brown (Associated Press)

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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