Quantcast
Connect with us

Out of spotlight, tribes keep fighting Dakota pipeline

Published

on

Native American tribes that tried to block the Dakota Access oil pipeline during a months-long standoff with authorities in North Dakota more than a year ago are carrying on their fight in federal court, in what they contend is a symbol of their ongoing struggle for tribal sovereignty.

“People think Standing Rock has come and gone,” said Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, a spokeswoman for the Standing Rock Sioux, referring to the sight of the protests. “But we will continue this fight until we are heard and the world knows what happened to us.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), has been operational since June 2017, after President Donald Trump granted its permit over the objections of tribes and environmentalists fearful that it would pollute a waterway sacred to the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux.

The pipeline approval, part of Trump’s desire to increase domestic energy production, distressed Native people in the United States and Canada who were concerned that it discounted indigenous rights.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne Sioux sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers soon after Trump ordered it to approve the pipeline, arguing that the tribes had not been properly consulted.

The Army Corps of Engineers is involved with U.S. military construction projects around the world and also advises civil engineering activities, such as dredging America’s waterways and cleaning up hazardous or toxic sites.

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., is weighing whether the Corps adequately considered effects on the tribes before approving the pipeline. He is expected to rule by Aug. 10.

The Army Corps did not respond to a request for comment, but it has previously said that it worked diligently to meet obligations to tribes.

The tribes have expressed hope that Boasberg will suspend operations on the pipeline. They have said that they are prepared to appeal if he does not.

ADVERTISEMENT

ETP declined to comment, but it has repeatedly said the pipeline would be safely operated.

The 1,172-mile (1,886-km) pipeline was built to move crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale fields to a refining and transport hub in Patoka, Illinois.

“We know we are going to fight this to the very end,” said Standing Rock’s Finn.

ADVERTISEMENT

LARAMIE AND A TREATY
Opposition to the pipeline played a central role in last spring’s gathering of tribes at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to mark the 150th anniversary of a peace treaty between the Sioux Nation and the United States.

Under the treaty, the federal government recognized the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory as part of the Great Sioux Reservation and hostilities ended between the Sioux and white settlers.

The Sioux contend the pipeline was built on land they never agreed to give up.

ADVERTISEMENT

In 1868, their land included most of South Dakota and parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. It has shrunken to several smaller reservations in the region.

The April meeting in Laramie was the first time since the Standing Rock protests of 2016 and 2017 that all seven bands of the Great Sioux Nation were together. Many veterans of the Standing Rock protests were there.

Members of the tribes rode hundreds of miles on horseback to get to Laramie, passing through tiny communities like Green Grass, South Dakota, the spiritual center of the Lakota People on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation.

Tribal leaders expressed disappointment that no senior members of the Trump administration were at Fort Laramie to commemorate the milestone for Indian country.

ADVERTISEMENT

Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux, said the convocation was a reminder for Native Americans that the federal government had fallen short of its agreements under the Laramie Treaty including by approving the Dakota Access pipeline.

“They (the United States government) ought to be ashamed of themselves,” Frazier said. “They have a moral obligation to uphold the honor of the Great Sioux Nation.”

Ivan Lookinghorse, a medicine man from the Cheyenne River Reservation and an organizer of the ride to Laramie, said the tribes intended to use the momentum from that gathering to stay unified as they gear up to fight other projects that they maintain threaten their wellbeing.

“We are going to keep it going, keep organizing meetings and find a way to be able to take care of the health and welfare of our people, and preserve land and water,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting by Stephanie Keith in Green Grass, South Dakota; Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Frances Kerry, Jonathan Oatis, Toni Reinhold


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

GOP lawmaker sits in painful silence for four seconds after CNN’s Camerota schools him on impeachment

Published

on

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) sat in painful silence for a full four seconds after CNN's Alisyn Camerota schooled him on the nature of impeachment inquiries.

During an interview on Monday, Camerota asked Davis if he thought it was appropriate for a president to ask a foreign government to help him investigate his domestic political opponents.

Davis said it was not, but then pivoted to saying that House Democrats didn't have enough evidence at the moment to justify holding an impeachment inquiry based on their knowledge of just the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Kurds announce groundbreaking deal with Damascus as Turkey pushes deep into Syria

Published

on

Syria's Kurds have announced a groundbreaking deal with Damascus on a Syrian troop deployment near the border with Turkey, as Ankara presses a deadly cross-border offensive that has sparked an international outcry.

The announcement on Sunday came as the United States ordered the withdrawal of almost its entire ground force in Syria.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move to withdraw 1,000 US troops came after Washington learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than expected.

Turkey's relentless assault, which has seen air strikes, shelling and a ground incursion manned mainly by Syrian proxy fighters, has killed scores of civilians and fighters since its launch on Wednesday.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump’s 2020 campaign distances itself from absurdly violent pro-Trump video

Published

on

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

In the internet meme -- taken from a scene in the movie "Kingsman: The Secret Service" -- the US president's head is superimposed on a man opening fire at people whose faces have been replaced with the logos of outlets including CNN, the Washington Post and NBC TV.

As the rampage continues inside the "Church of Fake News", the Trump character strikes late senator John McCain on the back of the neck and torches the head of Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential rival.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image