Native Sun News Today: Tribes seek protection amid #NoDAPL crackdown

The October 27, 2016, military police offensive made used of armored vehicles, sonic blasts of pain-inducing tones, pepper spray, Tasers, grenades, nightsticks, and riot gear to remove pipeline resisters from construction right of way. Photo by Morton County Sheriff's Office

Tribal leaders ask U.N. Peacekeeping Operations to protect protestors
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

MANDAN, N.D. –– Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chair Harold Frazier asked U.N. Peacekeeping Operations to deploy to 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory to shield activists defending Missouri River water from construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, he announced on Oct. 28.

Frazier revealed the request in a news conference outside Morton County Law Enforcement Center, headquarters of an Oct. 27 militarized police operation that doubled the number of people arrested during direct actions of civil resistance along the oil pipeline companies’ right of way here.

“What happened the other day when they had multiple arrests was really alarming to our people,” Frazier said. “I had calls from some of our elected leadership at home, asking: ‘Chairman, what’s the plan?’ The question that was going through my mind was: Who is protecting our people?

“How can you make a plan when you’re going against guns and weapons? The only thing I could say is: we need to stay together and pray,” Frazier responded. He noted the federal government’s trust responsibility to protect tribal populations, saying, “Yet they have failed us. That’s why I have written a letter to the United Nations, asking for troops to come so they can provide freedom of speech for our people.”

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prevent permitting of the pipeline across the Oahe Reservoir upstream from several tribes’ drinking water intakes in the Missouri River.

At the news conference Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair David Archambault II railed on Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based Fortune 500 company that is seeking the Corps of Engineers permitting.

“It seems like Energy Transfer Partners is getting protection,” Archambault said. They asked for the state of North Dakota to step in and remove us for trespassing on our land, and that’s just not right.”

Stating that the investors in the $3.7-billion pipeline project are being sued in four states for contaminating the environment and water, he said, “This is a bad company. Nobody should be protecting this company, and we should be focused on protecting water. Our people believe water is sacred; water is not a resource; it’s a relative, and it’s worth protecting.”

Energy Transfer Partners, Phillips 66, Enbridge Corp., and Marathon Oil Corp.., want to finish building the nearly 1,200-mile toxic fracked oil pipeline from the Bakken Formation, centered at the Mandan Hidatsa & Arikara Nation, through Lakota Territory in North and South Dakota, crossing the Missouri River here before heading on through Iowa, and crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois.

Construction, providing 4,000 temporary jobs in North Dakota, is proceeding through Morton County despite repeated U.S. Cabinet-level requests for the companies to pause the work until after the Army Corps reconsiders an earlier decision to greenlight the project.

The Environmental Protection Agency and non-profit organizations have called for a full environmental impact statement to determine whether the Corps should provide easements for the river crossings. All state permits are in place. Energy Transfer Partners Executive Vice President Joey Mahmound, who recently toured the contested right of way area north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, said he looks forward to “the prompt issuance of the easement on federal lands adjacent to Lake Oahe.”

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Tribal leaders ask U.N. Peacekeeping Operations to protect protestors

(Contact Talli Nauman at talli.nauman@gmail)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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