By Chelsea Hawkins and Sue Evans, Pyramid Communications
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on February 7, 2017, in a statement issued from Cannon Ball, North Dakota, said it is undaunted in its commitment to challenge an easement announcement by the US Department of the Army for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:
“The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk. We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration. Americans have come together in support of the Tribe asking for a fair, balanced and lawful pipeline process. The environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated. This pipeline was unfairly rerouted across our treaty lands. The Trump administration – yet again – is poised to set a precedent that defies the law and the will of Americans and our allies around the world.”
Attorneys for the Tribe emphasize that the easement cannot be granted legally at this time. Jan Hasselman, lead attorney for the Tribe, said:
“The Obama administration correctly found that the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be acknowledged and protected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations. Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and unlawful violation of Treaty rights. They will be held accountable in court.”
Next steps for Tribe and allies are outlined as follows:
- The Tribe will challenge any easement decision on the grounds that the EIS was wrongfully terminated. The Tribe will demand a fair, accurate and lawful environmental impact statement to identify true risks to its treaty rights, including its water supply and sacred places.
- The Tribe has asked the court for DAPL to disclose its oil spill and risk assessment records for full transparency and review by the public.
- If DAPL is successful in constructing and operating the pipeline, the Tribe will seek to shut the pipeline operations down.
- A Native Nations march on Washington is scheduled for March 10, 2017. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and tribes across the country invite allies in America and from around the world to join the march.
“We ask that our allies join us in demanding that Congress demand a fair and accurate process,” Archambault II said. “Our fight is no longer at the North Dakota site itself. Our fight is with Congress and the Trump administration. Meet us in Washington on March 10.”
Archambault II said he knows the Standing Rock movement has inspired people around the world to shape their world at home and abroad.
“As Native peoples, we have been knocked down again, but we will get back up, we will rise above the greed and corruption that has plagued our peoples since first contact. We call on the Native Nations of the United States to stand together, unite and fight back. Under this administration, all of our rights, everything that makes us who we are is at risk. Please respect our people and do not come to Standing Rock and instead exercise your First Amendment rights and take this fight to your respective state capitols, to your members of Congress, and to Washington DC.”
Standing Rock Response to the US President’s Comments on DAPL
Issued February 8, 2017
President Donald Trump’s statements that he hasn’t heard any opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline reflect a distorted sense of reality given the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition inspired a global movement against the pipeline, tribal leaders say.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II flew to Washington DC, Tuesday to meet with Trump administration officials to share the Tribe’s perspective on why they so strongly oppose the project. Archambault learned of the US Department of Army’s easement announcement to Congress when he landed and cancelled his meeting upon hearing the news. Archambault said:
“We sent a letter directly to Trump, have filed a legal challenge and we stand with more than 360 Native Nations and millions of Americans who have voiced their opposition to the project. The media has widely reported the President’s brazen conflict of interest to the pipeline. His complete disregard for Native Nations and our treaty rights is disrespectful.”
“We have asked for a fair, balanced and lawful environmental impact statement directly to President Trump and through the courts. The Governor, North Dakota congressional delegation and the entire world are keenly aware of the immense opposition to this project. We encourage our allies to exercise their First Amendment rights to remind President Trump where we stand on DAPL. Rise with Standing Rock.”
The Tribe suggested that messages be sent to President Trump at www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page.