Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault said Monday that non-Sioux protesters can leave the North Dakota protest camp after the government ruled in their favor in a controversial pipeline project adjacent to their lands.
“I’m asking them to go. Their presence will only cause the environment to be unsafe,” he said of the non-Sioux protesters, adding that he hopes to meet with incoming-president Donald Trump to educate him about the decision made and the future of the pipeline.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday declined an application from Energy Transfer Partners for an easement to tunnel its pipeline under the Missouri River, near to the Standing Rock Sioux tribal lands in North Dakota. That stretch is the only section of the line that has not been completed.
In an interview with Reuters at tribal headquarters in Fort Yates, North Dakota, Archambault said that even if the Trump administration looks to change the decision, nothing is going to happen through the rest of the winter before he takes office on Jan. 20.
(Reporting By Ernest Scheyder in Fort Yates, North Dakota; Editing by Alden Bentley)