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“There was widespread ‘fear of retaliation if one speaks up to address injustice, fraud or corruption,’ according to the report… fear… for one’s entire family.”
The above was the reason for lack of accountability and lack of punishment for criminals (and in the case of politicians’ failure to speak up– fear of NOT getting reelected!). The aforesaid referred to a 2010 report written by a council on a Native American reservation in North Dakota.
The Bonus Book of the Week is “Yellow Bird, Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country” by Sierra Crane Murdoch, published in 2020.
This disorganized and redundant story centered on Lissa, whose family was originally from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota. Patterns of dysfunction plagued Lissa’s life as it did those of her older relatives: poverty, absent father, teen pregnancy, drugs, domestic violence, etc.
Most of the reservation’s population of approximately sixteen thousand, did not reside on the land. In 2007, the oil company called Dakota-3 approached the Native American landowners to lease their mineral rights. There followed the formation of a ginormously complicated web of incestuous (highly-lucrative) relationships of oil companies, tribal leaders (and their families) and politicians. Not only were people raped, but land, too. The crime rate soared. White and tribal law-enforcement engaged in inter-agency rivalry.
In 2012, an oilfield-services worker, Kristopher Clarke, went missing and many people strongly suspected he was murdered. Lissa became obsessed with investigating his case.
Read the book to learn the rest of the story– about Lissa’s family, activities, and about the reservation’s trials and tribulations when its existence was turned upside-down by oil.