Native Sun News Today: Battle continues against the Dakota Access Pipeline

On October 7, 2016, in Bismarck, North Dakota, Honor the Earth held a “teach-in” on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the campaign to stop it, including speakers Winona LaDuke (pictured) and Kandi Mossett. Photo courtesy Honor the Earth

Fed Court gives Dakota Access Pipeline contractors the go-ahead
Armed threats against Indian pipeline resisters prompt more locals to support Oceti Sakowin cause
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

RAPID CITY –– Standing Rock Sioux Tribal President Dave Archambault II declared that the tribe will continue to fight after a federal court on Oct. 9 denied its request for an emergency injunction to prevent Dakota Access Pipeline construction in watersheds under U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction.

While the ruling effectively removes a ban on pipeline construction within 20 miles of the proposed Missouri River crossing, litigation proceeds, and “the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not backing down from this fight,” Archambault said.

“We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”

The court ruling, uncharacteristically made on a Sunday in the middle of a three-day holiday weekend, was apologetic in tone: “Although the tribe has not met the narrow and stringent standard governing this extraordinary form of relief (the emergency injunction), we recognize Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act was intended to mediate precisely the disparate perspectives involved in a case such as this one,” it said.

Section 106 provides for government-to-government consultation on the federal-tribal level when cultural resources are at issue in projects under U.S. jurisdiction.

“But ours is not the final word,” said the District of Columbia U.S. Appeals Court. “A necessary easement still awaits government approval—a decision Corps’ counsel predicts is likely weeks away. We can only hope the spirit of Section 106 may yet prevail.”

The judges making the decision admitted that, meanwhile, “DAPL has rights of access to the limited portion of pipeline corridor not yet cleared—where the tribe alleges additional historic sites are at risk.”

The ruling came in the midst of mounting resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction in North Dakota and Iowa, which attracted a flurry of law enforcement activity.

The decision also foreshadowed an Oct. 14 court challenge to another important oil pipeline’s South Dakota construction permit, that being the one for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline.

Local residents rallied behind the Oceti Sakowin as the two petroleum industry pipeline projects faced lawsuits and direct actions on the routes through the 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory of the Northern Great Plains.

The challenges led by tribal governments, members, and rural allies have dimmed the prospects for Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, Phillips 66, Enbridge Corp. and other companies, heavily indebted to banks for the estimated $3.7-billion investment in DAPL construction.

“There’s two places of resistance to this (Dakota Access) pipeline, with mostly white people in Iowa and mostly Indians in Standing Rock,” said Rapid City Attorney Bruce Ellison, part of the legal team defending resisters arrested near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation where that pipeline would cross the Missouri River.

On the morning of Oct. 10, following the court decision, demonstrators on the pipeline construction route, carrying banners and shouting, “You gotta drink water, too,” again squared off with uniformed officers wearing helmets and holding Billy clubs.

Non-native allies locked themselves to construction equipment while prayer ceremonies took place.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Fed Court gives Dakota Access Pipeline contractors the go-ahead

(Contact Talli Nauman, NSNT Health and Environment Editor at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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