Central Council Stands in Unity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline
September 14, 2016
"As we embark on our own battles over transboundary mining issues, we need to support our brothers and sisters across Indian Country so that we might be able to call on them to do the same for us in the spirit of the Idle No More movement,” said President Richard Peterson.
Standing Rock Indian Reservation straddles the border between North and South Dakota -- Source: Work by Nikater, submitted to the public domain. Background map courtesy of Demis, www.demis.nl
Central Council stated in a press release the Dakota Access Pipeline violates Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty which guarantees that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe shall enjoy the “undisturbed use and occupation” of their permanent homeland.
Central Council also called upon the Army Corps of Engineers to reject the river crossing permit under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and the Secretary of Interior to fully exercise the trust responsibility and ensure that the federal government rejects the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Recent history demonstrates the danger oil and gas pipelines have had on downstream communities, fish, and wildlife said Central Council. Between 2010-2015, 840,000 gallons of oil was released near Tioga, North Dakota; 51,000 gallons of oil was released into the Yellowstone River upstream from Glendive, Montana, resulting in the shutdown of the community water system for 6,000 residents; and 100,000 gallons of tar sand crude was released in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
Standing Rock is the sixth-largest reservation in land area in the United States, with a land area of 3,571.9 square miles and a population of 8,250 as of the 2000 census.
The pipeline goes from North Dakota to Illinois, and the activists argue the pipeline would jeopardize the water source of the reservation, the Missouri River. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop building the pipeline. In April 2016, three federal agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Interior, and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, requested a full Environmental Impact Statement of the pipeline.
In August 2016, protests were held near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
On September 3, 2016, the Dakota Access Pipeline brought in a private security firm. The company used bulldozers to dig up part of the pipeline route that is subject to a pending injunction motion; said to contained possible Native graves and burial artifacts.
The bulldozers arrived within a day from when the tribe filed legal action. When unarmed protesters moved near the bulldozers, the guards used pepper spray and guard dogs to protect the site they were told to guard.
At least six protesters were treated for dog bites and an estimated 30 protesters were pepper sprayed before the security guards and their dogs exited the scene in trucks. Also, four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured.
Reporting and Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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