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No Dakota Pipeline - tribes push back against yet another threat to clean water

by Corina Roberts
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation is calling out to all indigenous nations of the world to stand in solidarity with them as they fight yet another pipeline on tribal lands.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault has a request. He and his nation are calling upon all indigenous people - the world over - to send letters of support as the tribe moves forward with a lawsuit to protect the health and heritage of the land and the people. Archambault is asking people to send those letters of support via email to Steve Sitting Bear at ssittingbear [at]

#NODAPL is the hashtag and acronym for No Dakota Pipeline. Some 250 supporters are camped along the reservation border, tribal youth have completed a run to Washington with petitions against the pipeline, and the battle against Bakken Oil has drawn the attention of Shailene Woodley (Divergent), environmental groups, tribal people and individuals from across the country.

Still, one of the hardest parts of this battle is getting the world out. Local news sources and independent media have covered the story since roughly February, but to date, it has escaped the attention of major news coverage. That's the problem with being peaceful. It's hard to get big media attention without some sort of casualty and drama.

That, however, is not what the tribe wants, and Archambault has repeatedly asked that protestors be peaceful and law abiding at all times.

On July 27, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for violating the National Historic Preservation Act as well as other laws. The Corps issued the final permits for the construction of a large crude oil pipeline spanning from North Dakota to Illinois.

Construction on the pipeline has begun and the people of Standing Rock, joined by concerned community members from other nations, have waged peaceful protests, and have attempted to block the passage of workers onto the pipeline site which now presses the reservation border. Tribal Chair Dave Archambault as well as others were arrested on Friday, August 13 for disorderly conduct - pushing back on a police line - and two other trespassing arrests were made.

But it's not just the presence of the pipeline on or near reservation land that activists believe is at stake. It's the water. The Corps issued easements for two Missouri River crossings, after conducting a an Environmental Assessment; a process less complete and less thorough than an environmental impact study. Archambault and the tribal council, represented by Earthjustice, have sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in federal district court, in the hopes of receiving an injunction that will be heard Aug. 24. The tribe wants to delay further construction on the project until better environmental review can take place.

The pipeline will carry the product of Bakken Crude, in a volume of almost a half-million barrels daily in an 1,100-mile delivery system which spans North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

More information about the legal action, its premise, the tribe's concerns and the recent history of pipeline and watershed disasters can be found here:

(Photo Credit - Honor The Earth)
§Standing Rock Sioux Nation Takes Action
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