Harold Frazier, the chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, addresses a #NoDAPL rally outside of the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on August 24, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is thanking the Obama administration for halting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline pending further review and consultation. The tribe intervened in a lawsuit that seeks to derail the controversial project. But when a federal judge failed to come through on Friday, the administration stepped in by ensuring that a key segment of the pipeline won't be crossing federal land for now. “Throughout this process we have demanded that the federal government uphold its trust responsibilities to the Great Sioux Nation. Today’s actions by the Department of Justice give me great hope that we can finally begin a dialogue so that the views and culture of tribal peoples will be heard," Chairman Harold Frazier said in a press release. Despite the hold on the pipeline, the #NoDAPL fight remains alive and well. Earlier on Friday, before the judge's ruling came down, the tribe filed an update to its complaint in the lawsuit, citing treaties that call on the United States to protect water resources within its ancestral territory. "The waters of the Missouri River or Mni Šoše are sacred to the Lakota people of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and constitute the lifeblood of our religion and traditions. Further, the tribe’s treaties and the federal statutes that govern the tribe’s rights with regard to the Missouri River establish that the tribe enjoys a clear property right in the waters of the Missouri and enjoys a right to waters that are clean and suitable for drinking, agricultural use, hunting, fishing, and other rights," the amended complaint reads. "This property right is subject to the special trust relationship between the United States and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe." "Should this oil pipeline fail, like so many before it have, it will contaminate this essential resource and deprive the tribe of the right guaranteed to us by the United States to rely on the Missouri River to sustain our homeland," it continues.
ReZpect Our Water: Youth runners hold up the flag of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe at a rally in front of the White House on August 6, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com
An oil spill would take about three hours to reach the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, which lies south of the pipeline route, according to youth who took part in the ReZpect Our Water series of relay runs this summer. One run -- a 2,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C. -- took them to the White House, where they held a rally on August 6 that called attention to the need to protect the Missouri River. "Mni wiconi," the youth and their supporters chanted. "Water is life." Relevant Documents:
Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers | Federal Court Decision in #NoDAPL Case
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