Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe addresses the National Congress of American Indians in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 23, 2019. Photo by Kevin Abourezk

Harold Frazier: It is time to put people before profit

Satement on United States District Court decision regarding Dakota Access Pipeline

EAGLE BUTTE, South Dakota – It has been six years since the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) began slithering a path through our treaty territory.

In 2016 water protectors stood up to the dangers that have threatened this land of which we are all a part. Today, the US District Court ordered that the snake of oil moving through are territory cease on August 5th, 2020, and that the Army Corps of Engineers begin the process of conducting a real Environmental Impact Study.

I applaud the actions of the US District Court in finding what we knew all along, that this pipeline, like many other actions taken by the US government, is in fact illegally operating. The fact that this operation had been operating illegally for three years before this conclusion was finally made shows you the power that money holds on the American government.

It is time to people before profit and seriously consider the impact of not only this project but the harm that this project brings to our land and planet. It is with extreme gratitude that I acknowledge the work, sacrifice and perseverance of every water protector involved in this fight.

We must never give up in our struggles and need to follow the examples our past Naca (chiefs) and leaders that have given us. We need to unite and continue to protect our way of life for the future of our people. Mni wiconi! (Water is life)

Harold Frazier is serving his second term as chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, an Indian nation based in South Dakota. He also serves as president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association. He previously served as vice chair of the tribe and as an area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians.

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Big #NoDAPL News: Federal judge orders shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline (July 6, 2020)
Indigenous celebrate victory against Dakota Access Pipeline, but remain wary of Judge Boasberg (April 14, 2020)
Tribes score victory in long-running battle against Dakota Access Pipeline (March 25, 2020)
Dakota Access seeks to intervene in Oglala Sioux Tribe's lawsuit (May 17, 2017)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe seeks hearing on expansion of Dakota Access Pipeline (July 11, 2019)
'We were born for this': Native women overcome obstacles in the legal field (May 3, 2019)
Tribal consultation policies still lacking amid challenges of Trump era (April 23, 2019)
Native Sun News Today: Judge deals blow to wealthy backers of Dakota Access Pipeline (February 22, 2019)
White House listening session turns messy as one tribe walks out in protest (February 14, 2019)
'These cases should never have been brought': Water Protector Legal Collective wraps up #NoDAPL work (February 7, 2019)
Native member of Congress helps lead first committee hearing on climate change (February 4, 2019)
Native Sun News Today: Pipeline victories celebrated on treaty anniversary (January 25, 2019)
Cronkite News: Indigenous Peoples March draws thousands to Washington D.C. (January 21, 2019)
Mary Annette Pember: Water protectors fight final stretch of Dakota Access Pipeline (January 9, 2019)
YES! Magazine: How Standing Rock changed one doctor's life (December 6, 2018)
Jacqueline Keeler: Tribes are mobilizing to protect and get out the Native vote (October 29, 2018)
Standing Rock citizens sue county over #NoDAPL road blockade (October 29, 2018)
Tribes finally given access to Dakota Access Pipeline decision (October 4, 2018)
Dakota Access Pipeline decision still missing in action (September 24, 2018)
Documentary follows 'Warrior Women' through major Indian movements (September 19, 2018)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe still waiting on Dakota Access decision (September 18, 2018)
Dakota Access Pipeline decision still missing in action a week later (September 7, 2018)
Hard work 'in the trash': Standing Rock Sioux Tribe slams Trump on Dakota Access (September 4, 2018)
A return to frontier justice? Red Fawn Fallis locked up for #NoDAPL incident (August 20, 2018)
Trump administration delays Dakota Access Pipeline decision again (August 8, 2018)
Tribes await updated decision on Dakota Access Pipeline (August 6, 2018)
A 'political prisoner': Red Fawn Fallis takes the fall for #NoDAPL incident (July 31, 2018)
Red Fawn Fallis won't appeal sentence for #NoDAPL incident (July 24, 2018)
'I knew I wasn't guilty': #NoDAPL activist acquitted in North Dakota (July 16, 2018)
Red Fawn Fallis sentenced to nearly five years for #NoDAPL incident (July 13, 2018)
Dakota Access sued for failing to sell ranch at Standing Rock (July 11, 2018)
Dakota Access Pipeline study still not finished after more than a year (June 12, 2018)
Security firm hired by Dakota Access still won't admit wrongdoing (May 16, 2018)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: An Indian man walks into court and asks a judge to do the right thing (April 20, 2018)
Graham Lee Brewer: What we learned about #NoDAPL and accountability (April 16, 2018)
Albert Bender: Oil continues to flow through 'genocidal' Dakota Access Pipeline (April 9, 2018)
YES! Magazine: An 'awakening' emerges from Standing Rock (March 28, 2018)
Trump administration blames tribes for delay in new Dakota Access study (March 21, 2018)
Jenni Monet: What the movement at Standing Rock gave the world (March 16, 2018)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe warns of 'same mistakes' with DAPL study (March 7, 2018)
Oscars see a bit of diversity on stage with Native presenter and performance (March 5, 2018)
Republican investigation links Russian trolls to #NoDAPL movement (March 1, 2018)
Sylvia Chi: Indigenous activists lead energy divestment movement (February 19, 2018)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe demands consultation on DAPL study (February 9, 2018)
Red Fawn Fallis stays jailed for #NoDAPL gun shooting incident (February 6, 2018)
Woman injured in #NoDAPL clash sues government for evidence (February 6, 2018)
Red Fawn Fallis enters guilty plea for #NoDAPL gun shooting incident (January 23, 2018)
Native Sun News Today: 'Water Protectors' film heralds unsung Lakota heroes (January 15, 2018)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe raises funds for water (January 10, 2018)
Albert Bender: The original genocide continues with the Dakota Access Pipeline (November 16, 2017)