What a remarkable, tumultuous, enlightening, and frightening time. The Dakota Access Pipeline protests are back in the news for the second time this summer. Each story, taking me back to a time that impossibly, happened only four years ago. It seems a generation has passed since protesters from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe along with hundreds of others from all across the country gathered south of Mandan to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This months-long protest tested our people on both sides of the issue.  Maybe "tested" isn't a strong word...let's say divided our people.  Deep divisions that will need a couple of those generations to heal.

North Dakota got stuck with the bill...now they want that cash back. $38 million worth. It seems like the federal government may be feeling compelled to soon pull up a seat at the bargaining table.  In an Associated Press story, Senator Kevin Cramer had this to say on Tuesday-

“North Dakota assumed all costs including the cleanup of actions facilitated by the Corps of Engineers,”  The state “has one thing in mind and that is to make us whole. We don’t go away on these things like everybody else.”

"We don't go away on these things like everybody else..."

Seems we're not as divided as I might have thought...

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It certainly turned out to be one incredible mess.

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We'll see if North Dakota can make the case that the Corps of Engineers not only permitted access to camp without a permit but to actually have encouraged it.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem maybe says it best in the AP story-  “I wouldn’t trade legal positions with the Corps,”

Just make the check out to the Morton County Sheriff's Department.  They know where it goes.