The story of the Dakota Access Pipeline continues:
The pipeline is planned from Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois, where it would tie in with an existing pipeline to refineries in the Midwest and on the Gulf coast.
The project was never examined under an environmental impact review but instead was approved under a fast-track process that three federal agencies have stated was not adequate.” —Lynda V. Mapes, November 25, 2016
A neighboring town, Bismarck, ND, also rejected the Dakota Access Pipeline over pollution risks before the company approached the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Tribe rejected it too.
This weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers informed the Standing Rock Sioux that it planned to close public access to the Oceti Sakowin camp, a site where thousands of Native and non-Native water protectors have gathered over the last several months. Tribal chairman David Archambault, Jr. published a response this morning on the Standing Rock Sioux website:
Our Tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever. We ask that all everyone who can appeal to President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to consider the future of our people and rescind all permits and deny the easement to cross the Missouri River just north of our Reservation and straight through our treaty lands. When Dakota Access Pipeline chose this route, they did not consider our strong opposition. Our concerns were clearly articulated directly to them in a meeting on Sept. 30, 2014. We have released that audio recording from our council meeting where DAPL and the ND Public Service Commission came to us with this route…
We ask that the United States stop the pipeline and move it outside our treaty lands.” —David Archambault, Jr., November 26, 2016
Three people in my network have joined camps at the Standing Rock Reservation, and several more in my extended network are reading for winter there. Excessive local police force has been all over the headlines, and rightly so. But state violence is the easiest story to tell because, as Archambault writes, it’s so common, so continuous with the history of the US and its dealings with Native peoples.
EarthJustice’s legislative counsel Raul Garcia tells a simpler, less sexy story of Native and non-Native people gathering at Standing Rock out of shared spiritual conviction, not just common political belief.
Even when we were talking about politics, the sacredness of it all was what tribe members conveyed as important. The respect of the people overcame any thought of animosity, and the solemnity of the place and the need to protect nature inspired peaceful unity. This indigenous vision of sacred air, sacred water and sacred land was striking to me. I live in Washington, D.C., where polarized rhetoric dominates the landscape, and where, since the presidential election season, distasteful attacks are rampant. Visiting the camps and understanding the spirituality driving this struggle against corporate profit was an eye-opening and humbling experience.” —Raul Garcia
All of the camps and the medical council still need material support, and as Dr. Adrienne Keene has said, “money might be best.” Please give what you can.