Open Letter to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council on KXL and TransCanada

NOTE: This is an open letter to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council in response to conflicting accounts of whether they oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. As part of pressuring the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council into rescinding their support of TransCanada and the Lower Brule to Witten Power Project, please feel free to use, modify, and/or create your own letter. Here is the letter template: LBSTC KXL LETTER TEMPLATE. Mail physical copies to each individual councilmen at the address below. Please send letters and share this information, even if you are not an enrolled member of the Kul Wicasa Oyate. We need your help! Our land, water, and future are at stake. Pilamayelo! Documents: LBSTC TransCanada Resolution FEIS Programmatic Agreement Appendix J Basin Electric For more information on how to help and support the Kul Wicasa Oyate, contact Lakota George Estes (605 730 0852), Shaylene High Elk (605 730 0651), or Nick Estes ( Map of the Lower Brule to Witten Power Project crossing reservation land: Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 2.46.06 PM To the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council: Chairman Michael Jandreau Vice-Chairman Boyd Gourneau Councilman Red Langdeau Councilman Darrel Middletent Councilman John McCauley Councilman Shawn LaRoche Lower Brule Sioux Tribe P.O. Box 187 Lower Brule, SD 57548-0187 SUBJECT: SAY NO TO THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE AND CEASE NEGOTIATIONS WITH TRANSCANADA IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE OYATE AND THE OCETI SAKOWIN It has come to the attention of the public that the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council passed Resolution No. 14-0007 on November 12, 2013. This resolution authorized Chairman Michael Jandreau to sign a letter to President Obama and Vice Secretary Kerry “stating Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s prospective benefits and working relationships with Transcanada [sic].” In spite of having passed this resolution to express support for TransCanada, the construction company contracted to build the Keystone XL pipeline, Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council members have again and again claimed they oppose the pipeline. Most recently Vice Chairman Boyd Gourneau recently told KSFY News, “We—the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe—are opposed to Keystone XL pipeline.” And Chairman Jandreau reiterated Gourneau’s statement and expressed the following: “It is time that Tribal people come together positively to those activities that are so destructive to our continuation as Lakota’s [sic]!” Where does the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council stand on the Keystone XL Pipeline and TransCanada’s ancillary power projects? What has been negotiated and agreed upon? To begin with, Basin Electric Power Cooperative is proposing to construct and manage a 76-mile 230kV power transmission line from the Big Bend Dam to the Witten Substation to provide power to a proposed Keystone XL pipeline pump station. Along with the power transmission line, Basin Electric is planning to construct the Lower Brule Substation near the Big Bend Dam. Both proposed project would be on Lower Brule Tribal Reservation trust lands. The transmission line would also cross individually allotted land, some of which remains fractionated and owned by multiple interests from members of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and enrolled members of other tribes. In total, the project requires only 16 acres of land within the Lower Brule Reservation boundaries. In a December 2011 “Routing Report,” TransCanada states:

The need for the [Lower Brule-Witten] Project is driven by two key factors: 1) serve proposed short-term load growth on the 115-kV system between Basin Electric’s Mission and Fort Randall Substations, including electric service demands from pump stations for the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline; and 2) provide an additional source of power at the Witten Substation to improve regional system reliability and voltage stability.

The document reveals that the Basin Electric and TransCanada would benefit from the proposed power project, but does not indicate that there will be any benefit the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Nonetheless, the project would solicit negotiations with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, since it proposes to enter the jurisdictional boundaries of the reservation; and it would require that the Bureau of Indian Affairs approve any right-of-ways for the proposed project that would cross Indian trust lands. A 2013 December document, listed as “unclassified,” also names Chairman Jandreau and Tribal Cultural Resource Officer Claire Green under “Consulting Tribes’ Points of Contact” for “the implementation of the Programmatic Agreement for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.” The Programmatic Agreement (first drafted in 2010 and then amended in 2013) provides that if culturally sensitive areas affected or discovered during the construction process tribes will be consulted. But signing the Programmatic Agreement also gives evidence that TransCanada has consulted with tribes. Yet this is a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ Article 32, which states:

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. [Emphasis added]

As it stands the current Programmatic Agreement does not allow for free and informed consent prior to the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Lower Brule to Witten Power Project. Nothing in the agreement’s current language allows for the tribes to reject either project, and suggests that through negotiation and consultation implicit agreement has been reached to the projects’ terms and inevitability. However, in September 2011 the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association adopted the “Mother Earth Accord” that calls for “full consultation” under the Declaration’s “free and informed consent prior” to these projects’ approval. The Association further called for a moratorium on oils sands production and urged President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline’s Presidential Permit. Likewise, the Oglala Lakota Nation, the Sicangu Oyate, traditional treaty councils, and many community organizations have adopted resolutions in opposition to any negotiations with TransCanada and the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In sum, the Oceti Sakowin and the Oyate opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline. Where does this leave the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council if they have adopted a resolution to the show support to TransCanada? First, public statements issued in opposition to the pipeline appear moot if the Council continues to negotiate for the Lower Brule to Witten Power Project. Second, the Lower Brule Tribal Council has turned its back on the Oceti Sakowin and enrolled members of its tribe if it allows this power structure to be built within its reservation boundaries, since it will provide an essential source of electricity to one of the pipeline’s pump stations. Not taking a firm stand in opposition to the pipeline places the Lower Brule community at risk as well as the all communities that will be affected by the pipeline’s construction. Access to clean drinking water will also be placed at risk. The proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline currently crosses 357 streams and river, namely the Cheyenne River and White River, which are also tributaries to the Missouri River. The pipeline would also cross the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply Project, which currently provides fresh drinking water to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Lakota Nation, and the Sicangu Oyate. More importantly, the pipeline crosses the Ogllala Aquifer, the one of the world’s largest freshwater aquifers. Contamination of this aquifer would result in catastrophic effects that would impact countless people, animals, and plants that depend on this vital source of water. Given TransCanada’s poor record with spills resulting in faulty construction and poorly maintained pipelines, it would not be a matter of if the pipeline spills but when the pipeline spills. The inevitability of spills, then, would result in the inevitable contamination of fresh water. Successful cleanups of oil sands spills have proven ineffective and these spills often result in near-permanent water contamination. By negotiating with TransCanada and supporting the construction of the Lower to Witten Power Project, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council will not only put the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s water at risk for contamination, but also everyone else’s water. As several Oceti Sakowin tribal councils are in the process of drafting a Declaration of War against TransCanada and the Keystone XL Pipeline, it is imperative that the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council rescind its support for the TransCanada and the Lower to Witten Power Project and publicly denounce these projects. It is imperative that the Lower Brule Tribal Council refuses further consultation and negotiation with TransCanada. It is imperative that the Lower Brule Tribal Council stands with the Kul Wicasa Oyate’s collective opposition to these projects. It is imperative that the Lower Brule Tribal Council supports the efforts of its enrolled members to put a halt to these projects. It is imperative that the Lower Brule Tribal Council stands with the Oceti Sakowin, other Indigenous Nations, and non-Indigenous communities in the fight against TransCanada and the Keystone XL Pipeline. This is a struggle for life, the future, and the continued survival of the Kul Wicasa Oyate. It is my hope that you take these insights seriously, as a relative and fellow citizen of the Kul Wicasa Oyate. Sincerely, Nick Estes Enrolled member of the Kul Wicasa Oyate PhD Student, University of New Mexico

Why Chamberlain, SX is Indefensible

NOTE: Unless cited, I use “X” in place of “Dakota” in “South Dakota” or “SD” to show respect for the Dakota people and reclaim the name from anti-Indian state governments and institutions. Dakota means “ally” and WoDakota means “peace and harmony.” Neither of these two meanings reflect the beliefs and attitudes of state governments towards Dakota people.

Chamberlain Must Go!

“The racist town of Chamberlain should be erased from the map!” Elizabeth Cook-Lynn declared to a standing-room only crowd of Natives and non-Natives who erupted into applause, cheers, and high pitched LE-LE-LE-LEs this summer at the Ite Sni symposium held at School of Mines campus. The elder Native stateswoman spoke about her life growing up in Crow Creek during the 30s, 40s, and 50s and the profound anti-Indian sentiment she experienced in the towns of Chamberlain and Oacoma. She made reference to the fact that anti-Indianism in Chamberlain has a long history and tradition; and the school board’s continued battle to fight the singing of a D/Lakota honor song at a high school commencement ceremony is testament to this tradition. So we shouldn’t be surprised. We shouldn’t be mad, angry Indians, because we should just expect Chamberlain to behave the way Chamberlain does.

What was most surprising was that everyone had a common sense about Chamberlain being a racist town, even, ironically, non-Native members of the Rapid City community! But what is Chamberlain’s historic anti-Indian common sense and why is it so productive in protecting its whiteness? Before this question can be adequately answered, we should turn to the history of Chamberlain.

Anti-Indian History

When the infamous Lewis and Clark expedition began to navigate through “hostile” Sioux territory in late September 1804, they camped on sandbars and tried to avoid the Teton Sioux nation whom the explorers described as “vilest miscreants of the savage race.” Soon the “miscreants” discovered the explorers and a tense three day stand-off took place at what is now the Big Bend of the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation. Lewis and Clark did not want to pay passage for their trespassing and soon kidnapped the son of a chief to guarantee their safe travel. This transgression set the precedent of Lakota-U.S. relations in the area. The behavior of succeeding settlers in the area changed little.

After Lewis and Clark came trappers and traders that began to settle near the Whetstone Agency, which was south of present-day Oacoma. Fleeing for their lives from the murderous, total war campaign waged by Colonel Henry Sibley to round up and exterminate the refugees of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War, Dakota relatives took shelter in the bluffs along the Missouri River at present-day Chamberlain. Thousands of Dakota men, women, and children were killed for scalp bounties for their participation in the 1862 uprising. Lakota relatives pitied the Dakota who fled the war and helped hide them among their camps. The place where they hid became known as Tipi Maka Oyanke, or Cave Dwellers Camp.

Chamberlain was formally founded as a railroad town in 1881 and served as the gateway for gold miners seeking fortunes in the opening of the Black Hills in 1877. Richard H. Pratt, head of the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, attempted to coax the Oyate (the Great Sioux Nation) into opening up the “Great Sioux Reservation” in 1888. This became known as the Pratt Commission. Anti-Indian sentiment in “Dakota Territory” fueled indignation towards the Oyate’s refusal to capitulate with the Pratt Commission, thus the measure failed. Leaders in Dakota Territory then pressured Congress to pass a bill of force sale to open up the the “Great Sioux Reservation.”

This bill became known as the “Sioux bill” of 1888 and resulted in the forced sale of over 9 million acres of land to be opened for homesteading. Some of the land was purchased at less than a dollar an acre. Some was “given away free” to white settlers. It remains as one the largest mass, illegal dispossessions of Native land in U.S. history.

In To Have This Land, historian Philip S. Hall recounts:

Citizens throughout the territory, particularly those in the Black Hills and along the Missouri River, were overjoyed. Many held formal celebrations with bonfires, speeches and parades. Chamberlain held a grand inaugural reservation ball. Partygoers there were entertained by young [white] men dressed and painted as Indians galloping their horses through the streets and staging war dances on the corners. The citizens held a mock sitting of the Pratt Commission as an expression of their contempt for the men who had failed to open the reservation.

In 1898, the Bureau of Indian Affairs founded Chamberlain Indian School on the land that is now St. Joseph’s Indian School and was once Crow Creek trust land all the way to American Creek. That same year, the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians was built in Canton, SX. Many D/Lakota children and adults from the Lower Brule and Crow Creek agencies were forced to attend these institutions, which functioned to domesticate, often violently and sometimes resulting in death, young children, “sexually deviant” adults, and medicine people. What this meant, in some cases, was the lobotomization of those deemed sexually or behaviorally immoral, or those that were winkte or “talked to spirits.”  Boarding school children were violently disciplined to adhere to the moral standards of white settler society. To say these institutions served as places for just assimilation is an act of violence. These were institutions of genocide intent on stripping Native people from any semblance of themselves.

In 1909, the Chamberlain Indian School closed its doors, but the boarding school model was re-established on the former BIA school’s lands by Roman Catholic Priest Henry Hogebach. Canton Asylum remained open until 1934, taking in hundreds of Native peoples from around the U.S.—nine of ten died at the asylum. The remaining trust lands north of American Creek eventually became incorporated into Chamberlain’s jurisdiction.

In 1944, Congress passed the Pick-Sloan Act, which channeled federal dollars towards damming the Missouri River. Nine sites were designated for dams, most of which were on Sioux Indian reservations. Facing the dual threats of federal termination policy and the inundation of agency buildings in the early 1950s, Crow Creek and Lower Brule were forced to negotiate with local communities about possible sites for relocating their vital infrastructure. South X congressmen E. Y. Berry and Francis Case advocated for relocating the agencies and reservation services to Chamberlain. In response to proposed move and possibility of integrating the white community with the two tribal agencies, the Brule County Commissioners issued the following in 1951:

[The Brule County Commissioners] hereby expresses its firm belief that if such [agency] offices are moved within Brule County that as a result of such move Brule County would necessarily be forced to provide the necessaries of life for a considerable number of reservation members moving into the county, and this would place an intolerable financial burden on Brule County, South Dakota.

In 1954, the Mayor of Chamberlain Hershel V. Melcher echoed the Commissioners plea with a more threatening tone:

Lately the Indian Offices at Fort Thompson, S.D. say they want to move into Chamberlain, S.D., [and it] seems they want to come whether we like it or not. Some of the boys in the Community Club seem to favor it but the people in town are most all against it. If they come in here, it will be necessary to declare open season on Indians and Government Agents, we do not feel that we are entitled to this kind of abuse from the government and we do not intend to take it peacefully… The people of Brule County do not feel we should be saddled with a relief load for Indians, that is the job of the Federal Government, and we do not intend to let an Indian light around here at all. We do not want to live with them, we don’t want them in our schools… [W]e advise you that if it come in [sic], we will then do everything we can to get rid of it and to make them wish they were not here. We do not intend to even be gentlemen about it, this is an unjust imposition on us any way you look at it.

The City Commissioners also passed the following resolution:

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED by the City Commission of the City of Chamberlain, Brule County, South Dakota, that we are opposed to the moving of the Indian Offices from Ft. Thompson, S.D., to the City of Chamberlain, S.D., for all the above reasons and for the further reasons that [it] creates an extra police problem as to drunks and petty larceny. That we therefore strongly oppose any such move to the City of Chamberlain.

Signed: Mayor Hershel V. Melcher, Commissioner C. L. McDonald, Commissioner Frank C. Knippling, Commissioner Willard Wristen, Commissioner Gerrit Brink, and Commissioner Edward C. Martin [then Democrat Candidate for Governor of South Dakota]

Unhappy by the lack of the response, Melcher went on the offensive again:

As I advised you [Congressmen] before, we have no intention of making an Indian comfortable around here, especially an official. We have a few dollar diplomats that have been making a lot of noise and trying to get everyone they possibly could to write you people in Washington that they wanted the Indians in here but the fact is that 90% of the people are strongly opposed to it and will get much more so if this thing come in [sic]. Anybody who rents them any property will have to change his address and I would not want the insurance on his building. We do not feel that this town should be ruined by a mess like this and we do not intend to take this lying down irregardless [sic] of what some official in Washington may think.

These deep-seated anti-Indian sentiments resulted in the relocation of the agencies to Oacoma and eventually back to their respective tribes. But the incident and the culminating history was not forgotten nor lost on the D/Lakota.

Following a string of sex abuses scandals at St. Joseph’s Indian School that have come to light in recent years, a class action law suit was building against the owners of the boarding school, the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart. Former Native students of the school came forward and testified about the physical and sexual abuse they endured from priests and staff. In 2011, Steven Smith of Chamberlain, and lawyer for Sacred Heart, wrote and submitted a “constituent bill” to the SX state legislature. The bill (HB 1104) “flew through the legislature” and set the statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims to file civil suits against institutions after the age of forty. Under this law plaintiffs over age 40 may file for damages only from individual perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse. They may not, however, collect damages from institutions such as the Sacred Heart or the religious organizations that hired and supervised the alleged perpetrators. Smith told the Argus Leader in 2010 “nobody knew I was doing this.”

Many have commented on the state’s complicity to cover-up the sexual abuse of Native children at religious boarding schools. Attorney for the Native plaintiffs told the Huffington Post in 2011 that “The South Dakota legislators are on record as passing this bill to get rid of hard-to-defend Native cases.”

This historical survey is one small slice of a larger history of anti-Indian sentiment and behavior. To go into further detail would require a full-length book.


How is it that a town of about 2100 people can have so many “bad apples”? We cannot chalk up the history of the anti-Indianism in Chamberlain to a select few individuals, but it is a history that is endemic to the mentality and common sense of its institutions and white population. The recent controversies of whether or not a D/Lakota honor song appropriately reflects Chamberlain’s “tradition” represents just one instance in a long line of instances in which the vitriolic Indian hating comes to a head.

Board members Rebecca Reimer (President), Jay Blum, Casey Hutmacher, Leann Larson, Dallas Thompson, and Ted Petrak will join the ranks of Chamberlain’s 132 year history of Indian haters for voting against the honor song in May 2013. But these individuals represent an institution, which is supposed to represent the values of the populations it serves. That institution represents the standards of the town and its people.

The Chamberlain school district has caused injury, but it is not an exceptional nor isolated sentiment. It follows the tradition of Chamberlain’s Indian hating. Whenever I tell people where I was born and raised, if they’ve heard of it, their face contorts. “Really? Chamberlain?” they ask. It is personal recognition and repugnance that this small town harbors so much infamy for being racist. But racist is too polite a term.

I have written academic and informal pieces about Chamberlain in the past. As a result, I have also received threats of bodily harm from former white classmates and friends. I ask them, what are you defending? Are you defending and condoning this behavior? Or are you defending your whiteness? The last question usually ends the conversation. What I am talking about concerns whiteness and a very old school kind of racism. But it’s more than that. It is a deep-seated common sense that somehow recognizing or conceding anything to Native people will destroy the core values of Chamberlain. It is a community founded on violent colonial dispossession. Talking about that will put a target on your back and, in my case, cause threats of violence. But I refuse to be silent.

But can you refute history? Can you change it? Chamberlain and its people have yet (beside a small minority) to show themselves worthy of being neighbors and cohabiters along the Missouri. Saying that history is in the past only reproduces violence and anti-Indianism in the present. It removes it from the reality many Native people face today because of that history. It makes our stories less worthy, and thus makes us less worthy.

It is not the job of Native people to bear the unfair burden of living with this history. It is incumbent upon white settlers to learn and help undo inequalities of the present. The world is watching Chamberlain. The Oceti Sakowin is watching and waiting as well. We will continue to move forward, even if Chamberlain chooses not to.

As the school board tables the honor song for the spring 2014 graduation, let us not forget the injuries that have been done. For a just resolution to the problem Chamberlain presents, it may require a radical departure from the past. It may require white settlers and the institutions that defend whiteness to recognize themselves as perpetrators of historical and ongoing human rights violations against Native peoples. It may require understanding that white settlers are occupying and benefiting from stolen land. It may, as Waziyatawin notes, require solutions “just short of breaking camp.”

Hecutu Welo!

Wounded Knee: Settler Colonial Property Regimes and Indigenous Liberation

Here is a link (below) to my recent publication in Capitalism Nature Socialism Journal based out of the UK. The theme of the journal is bridging socialist and Indigenous perspectives. Check out the entire contents of the special edition if you have access to the journal via academic libraries. Unfortunately, UNM does not currently carry CNS.

With that said, there are some minor grammar errors and one glaring error on page 193. The date of the Battle of Little Bighorn should read “1876” not “1976”. All the errors and oversights are my own. Please comment and share.


Estes CNS Article – Wounded Knee 2013

Special thanks to David Correia for giving me the opportunity to publish in CNS. Check out his new book Properties of Violence: Law and Land Grant Struggle in Northern New Mexico.

Border Towns: Colonial Logics of Violence

I should note that being my first post for this blog that I was born and raised (for the most part) in Chamberlain, SD, which fits the commonly understood notion of being a border town. Chamberlain is geographically located near two reservations–the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and my tribe the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.

Photo taken at North Platte, NE on 16/12/2012
Photo taken at North Platte, NE on 12/16/2012

On my way back home from school in Albuquerque, NM, I drove through North Platte, NE. North Platte is an historic site that is positioned on the most southern border of treaty land designated as “Sioux Territory” by the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. As I turned North onto Highway 83 from I-76, this is the site that welcomed by return to the treaty lands of my people, the Oceti Sakowin Oyate (Nation of the Seven Council Fires).

The image of an American military outpost with highwalls and armaments is metaphorical of the historic political and economic currency of border towns–Indians. As much as border towns have historically attempted to keep Natives out (like the high walls of the fort suggest), their political and economic livelihood is intrinsically dependent on Native people and land.

This prompted me to think about the concept of border towns. Native and non-Native people constantly refer to border towns, as if it is commonly understood term. But what exactly is a border town? How does it function?

Here are some broader definitions I came up with listed in no particular order:

  • Geographic location near an Indian reservation and/or community;
  • Dependent upon Native resources such as: land, cheap labor, water, mineral resources, and economies;
  • In some cases Native people are dependent upon border towns for basic needs such as: employment, food, education, access to health services, access to social services, and conducting business in general;
  • Disproportionate wealth and living conditions between non-Native and Native people living in or dependent on border towns;
  • Disproportionate criminal conviction rate of Native people when compared to non-Native people;
  • and, Disproportionate violence against Native women.

I researched scholarly definitions of border towns and Native people, but only found legal and civil/human rights commissions reports that deal with border town issues. So these definitions are solely mine as defined by my personal experience and research. Yet, given these broad definitions of border towns, border towns are not wholly unique to the Great Plains or the United States. These definitions parallel the relationship between First World and Third World nations.

Take for example, border towns on the border between Mexico and the United States. Why is there such a distinct, disproportionate level of violence and poverty on one side and not the other? Most people blame drugs as the sole motivating factor for the escalation of violence on the border. But, it begs the questions: who and what is fueling this demand for drugs? Why have we forgotten about NAFTA? Considering how critics of NAFTA determined the negative effects it would have on Mexico, criticism of NAFTA has been all but forgotten. Because sustained criticism of NAFTA has been abandoned does not mean U.S.’s continued exploitation and economic dependence on unfair market conditions is not a contributing factor to ongoing violence along the border. This relationship the First World has with Third World countries is a global phenomenon of capitalism. The same goes for border town communities in the U.S., except the exchange is different. The violence, however, is similar.

It seems, however, just like in the case of forgetting the devastating effects NAFTA would have on Mexico, the violence that accompanied the invasion of America by European colonizers is rendered as an historic occurance that has no bearing in the present. America sees itself as abandoning these past violences–morally moving beyond them. Using the distance of time to abandon and forget the violent past is a trick that does not interrogate the present disparities that exist in border towns, nor the violences they perpetuate.

The idea of borders are meant to create boundaries between people–physical spaces that are meant to keep out and keep in. They define who is deemed worthy and therefore included. Conversely, they define who is deemed unworthy and excluded. Internally, within the settlements around which borders are constructed, the morals and values constructed by those who are worthy are thus used to define those who belong. Those who are meant to be excluded and deemed unworthy decidedly do not constitute a valid existence when they transgress borders into communities that do not want them there.

Likewise, if we take into consideration the United States in the broader context of the history of colonialism, every settlement in America benefits from Native land dispossession. This dispossession was by no means peaceful. It was and is the primary motivating factor for the continuation of colonial violence in the present. Further study needs to take place that examines the logics behind border towns as an historic and contemporary phenomenon.

To be continued.