Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe calls out Trump for 'lies' on Dakota Access

Indianz.Com on YouTube: White House in 'Constant Contact' with Standing Rock

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is condemning the Trump administration for spreading "lies" about its handling of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Chairman Harold Frazier said his efforts to reach out to the new Republican regime in Washington, D.C., have been repeatedly rebuffed. That stands in contrast to claims from the White House that it has been in "constant contact" with tribal opponents of the pipeline.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. These are lies on top of lies," Frazier said in a press release on Friday. "My team contacted the new administration at all levels only to have meetings and conference calls cancelled at the last minute.”

Frazier reached out to the Department of the Army when President Donald Trump issued a Dakota Access directive four days after taking office. But he said he never heard back from the "acting" leader of the agency.

“On January 27, 2017, I sent a letter to the Acting Secretary of the Army formally requesting government-to-government tribal consultation as required under Department of Defense Instruction and Policy on any decisions under Trump’s January 24, 2017 memorandum," said Frazier, who already shared details of his efforts in a court filing on Wednesday. "I received no response, no contact, no consultation.”

Frazier said the new president himself has stretched the truth when, earlier this month, he claimed he never heard anyone complain about the pipeline. That's a completely different story than the one trotted out by his press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday.

“If he was in touch with us, in constant contact, he would know that we oppose this attack on our homelands, our drinking water and our treaty rights and resources," Frazier said in response to the White House's claims. "Which is it? Are they in contact or not?”

Consultation has been a central issue in the battle over the pipeline, which is all but complete except for a small portion in North Dakota. Tribes say their concerns about treaty rights, sacred sites and water resources were never fully addressed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and they hoped a new environmental review would give them an opportunity to raise those issues.

But the Army Corps shut the door by granting the final easement to Dakota Access without consulting either tribe. The Army also canceled the environmental impact statement without asking the tribes.

The tribes are now asking a federal judge to set aside the easement but the firm has indicated it will finish the pipeline before briefing on that matter is complete. Still, Cheyenne River is hoping an injunction can stop oil from flowing -- arguments are being heard in federal court on February 28.

Indian Country #NoDAPL Briefs:
Oglala Sioux Tribe (February 21, 2017)
Pueblo of Pojoaque / Association on American Indian Affairs / University of New Mexico School of Law Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic (February 21, 2017)
National Indigenous Women's Resource Center / 13 Tribes / 105 Non-Profit Organizations (February 21, 2017)
National Congress of American Indians / 34 Tribes / 11 Tribal Organizations / 2 Civil Rights Organizations (February 22, 2017)

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Termination of the Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in Connection With Dakota Access, LLC's Request for an Easement To Cross Lake Oahe, North Dakota (February 17, 2017)

Prior Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in Connection With Dakota Access, LLC's Request for an Easement To Cross Lake Oahe, North Dakota (January 18, 2017)

Dakota Access Pipeline Approval Documents:
Department of Justice Notice | Department of the Army Approval Memorandum | Notice of Termination of EIS for Dakota Access Pipeline | Easement Letter to Congressional Leadership

White House Documents:
Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (January 24, 2017)
Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline (January 24, 2017)
Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects (January 24, 2017)
Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines (January 24, 2017)
Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing (January 24, 2017)
Press Release: President Trump Takes Action to Expedite Priority Energy and Infrastructure Projects (January 24, 2017)

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