Considering the views of the Europeans and the First Nations people, do you think it is inevitable for a more dominant culture to assimilate other cultures and use up natural resources? 

European resource extraction of First Nations' territory can be viewed as inevitable because natural resource ownership was, and still is, considered to be one of the highest priorities within Western expansion. Resources become fiercely sought after and protected as populations continue to grow. Assimilation of other cultures can be seen as a necessary means of acquiring these resources.

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Resource extraction by foreign powers was a significant factor in European colonial expansion into the Western Hemisphere and it remains a significant issue in the twenty-first century. The rights of a people to control access to resources in their territory is an ongoing area of contestation in many parts of the world. As resources are often located in areas along national borders, international cooperation among diverse groups is an important means of protecting those resources and trying to provide equitable access for key stakeholders. Within specific jurisdictions, individual groups use existing laws and the courts to secure recognition of their rights.

One early-twenty-first century example is the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, or Dakota Access project, which involves Canada and the United States, including territories held by First Nations and Native American peoples. The U.S. policy changed significantly under the Donald Trump administration: in 2017, the new president reversed Barack Obama’s action to halt construction on the pipeline, and TransCanada soon received permission to proceed. Native American groups took legal action, suing the Trump administration. The motion filed in 2020 by the Fort Belknap Indian Community and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is based on the violation of two nineteenth-century treaties, which made it illegal to trespass on Rosebud’s mineral estates without Rosebud’s consent. The motion also notes that the president does not have the authority to permit the pipeline because Congress has exclusive power to regulate foreign commerce.

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