AFTER MONTHS OF HARD FOUGHT WATER PROTECTION EFFORTS…THOUSDANDS OF VETERANS CAME TO STANDING ROCK THIS PAST WEEKEND TO DEFEND THE WATER AND PROTECT THE PEOPLE FROM FURTHER HARM… THEN ON DECEMBER 4TH, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS RELEASED A STATEMENT THAT THEY WILL NOT APPROVE AN EASEMENT FOR THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE TO CROSS UNDER LAKE OAHE.
For months the Water protectors have been, in the eyes of many, terrorized by the militarization of the Morton County Sheriff. Severe injuries have resulted to the people who are on the front lines and to our American Veterans at Standing Rock. Our Veterans are front line defenders, they can be seen propelling their bodies between the baton wielding police, and a water protector exercising their constitutional rights, willfully taking the blows that were intended for someone else, that is the definition of a hero. They have been maced, struck with batons, pepper sprayed, hit with non-lethal projectiles at a lethal range, they were sprayed with water in 28 degree weather, resulting in hypothermia. As if that wasn’t enough they have been jailed, and held in dog kennels while in custody, simply for exercising their constitutional rights. Both the people and the Veterans have sacrificed their own safety for the right to clean water.
These veterans have faced war overseas and now they are being subjected to war stateside. Many of their comrades came and are still coming to Standing Rock to provide support to their brothers and sisters. Air Force Veteran L Manriquez, a resident of Santa Rosa, CA was among the 2,000 veterans that arrived at Standing Rock on December fourth. She said, “I am a vet whose time has come to stand, to face the enemies of clean water. I’ve been now twice out to standing rock as a civilian, next week I go back as a warrior, because we swore on oath to protect people from its foreign, and domestic enemies.”
The convoy of Veterans for Standing Rock was organized by Michael A Wood Jr. and Wes Clark Jr. The Veterans came to form a human shield to provide protection to the water protectors and the Standing Rock Veterans. They have stated that they will take direction from the Standing Rock Sioux, and their actions will be non-violent as requested by the Sioux.
We have been in contact with the office of Congressman Jared Huffman, as many of his constituents including L Frank Manriquez are at Standing Rock. He has been working with Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva to ensure that the constitutional rights of their constituents are upheld, they are true leaders in a dark time in history. They sent a letter to President Obama, requesting an immediate meeting with the White House, and Department of Justice officials. Their request is simply put, “We demand a Department of Justice Investigation, An investigation is warranted given the egregious civil, human, and legal rights violations that have occurred at Standing Rock. These constitutional violations cannot be allowed to continue! It is time for Justice to prevail.”
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement
Posted on December 4, 2016.
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.
The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.
“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.
We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need.
Throughout this effort I have stressed the importance of acting at all times in a peaceful and prayerful manner – and that is how we will respond to this decision. With this decision we look forward to being able to return home and spend the winter with our families and loved ones, many of whom have sacrificed as well. We look forward to celebrating in wopila, in thanks, in the coming days.
We hope that Kelcey Warren, Governor Dalrymple, and the incoming Trump administration respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point. When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes.
Treaties are paramount law and must be respected, and we welcome dialogue on how to continue to honor that moving forward. We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development, or national security concerns but we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our Indigenous peoples.
To our local law enforcement, I hope that we can work together to heal our relationship as we all work to protect the lives and safety of our people. I recognize the extreme stress that the situation caused and look forward to a future that reflects more mutual understanding and respect.
Again, we are deeply appreciative that the Obama Administration took the time and effort to genuinely consider the broad spectrum of tribal concerns. In a system that has continuously been stacked against us from every angle, it took tremendous courage to take a new approach to our nation-to-nation relationship, and we will be forever grateful.
ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WILL NOT GRANT EASEMENT TO DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE WITHOUT FULL REVIEW
BY LEVI RICKERT /
From press release by Activism Articulated Founder Darcy Totten
Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy of the Army Corps of Engineers advised Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe that the United States will not grant the easement that Dakota Access needed to cross under our sacred Missouri River until it has conducted a full review, including consideration of alternate routes that are respectful of tribal rights and interests. This decision will prevent Dakota Access from any drilling under the tribal waters of Mni Sose at this time.
Chairman Frazier responded with profound gratitude for the water protectors and their allies who have fought for this decision. He said, “Thank you from the very bottom of my heart to the water protectors, whose peaceful and prayerful resistance and courage in the face of brutality and ignorance made this day possible. I am so proud today of our Native people and our non-Native allies. Creator put us on this earth to protect Unci Maka and today we have achieved a victory for our Grandmother Earth.”
Chairman Frazier also commended President Barack Obama’s honorable decision. “I thank President Barack Obama and the United States for this historic decision that will do much to restore the faith of the Lakota people in the country that has treated us so dishonorably for so long.”
Chairman Frazier was quick to say that the work of the water protectors is not over, as the Tribe expects Dakota Access to litigate this issue. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is prepared to respond to any litigation on this issue.
The legal team of Fredrick, Peebles and Morgan issues this statement on behalf of the tribe. “It is not clear exactly what the review process for the easement will look like going forward, but it is certain that Dakota Access will challenge it in federal court and the Tribe is prepared to fight back. It appears that the Corps will be actively considering alternative routes, and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will insist on being full and active participants in consultation on that. Although no timeframe was given as to when the full review will begin, the Tribe does not expect it to conclude until after January 1, 2017. The Tribe intends to continue providing all the evidence and argument to show why the United States should not approve any alternative that jeopardizes our Treaty-derived right to clean water or our sacred sites.”
Chairman Frazier reiterated that he understands that the water protectors have no plans to vacate the Standing Rock camp at this point. “Today we won the battle, but our fight is not yet over. While we will savor this victory, we must continue to prepare for the long road ahead of us. The court battle will continue and the political battle will wage on. But we will never stop fighting for our Unci Maka.”
He added, “To the water protectors and the veterans on the ground now, thank you for your commitment and perseverance in the face of harsh and brutal conditions, your actions demonstrate the true meaning courage. I want to extend my special thanks to Sophia Wilanksy.”
Water protectors around the world are celebrating today’s victory, which comes just one day before another round of veterans are due to arrive in Standing Rock to act as protection to the water protectors who have been at camp Oceti Sakowin since August. While the fight continues for now, the mood is celebratory as people come together in gratitude for this new development.
Wopila tanka, Tunkasila! Wopila tanka, water protectors! Wopila tanka, Barack Obama!
(Thank you, Creator! Thank you, water protectors! Thank you, Barack Obama!)
Dakota Access Pipeline Halted, DC Reacts
Reactions from federal officials have been pouring in over the past 24 hours since federal officials and the Department of Army announced the denial of permits for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Below are some of those reactions from leaders in D.C.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell: “The thoughtful approach established by the Army today ensures that there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes for the pipeline and a closer look at potential impacts, as envisioned by NEPA. The Army’s announcement underscores that tribal rights reserved in treaties and federal law, as well as Nation-to-Nation consultation with tribal leaders, are essential components of the analysis to be undertaken in the environmental impact statement going forward.”
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-MN4) and co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus: “I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to conduct a more thorough review of the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. A full environmental impact statement will appropriately consider the significant environmental and cultural concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux. Today’s decision also underscores that it is in the best interest of all parties to explore new routes that safeguard the environment and protect tribal sovereignty.
“As the review takes place, I urge the United States Department of Justice to continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of North Dakota to ensure that well-being, safety, and constitutional rights of protesters at Standing Rock are protected.
“President Obama’s respect for the sovereignty and traditions of the Standing Rock Sioux and all tribal nations has been a hallmark of his administration. I applaud the ongoing efforts of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice to fully consult with tribal leaders in North Dakota and across Indian country.”
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs: “I appreciate the president and the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision today to deny an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing under Lake Oahe in North Dakota and to explore alternate routes. Over the last seven months, thousands of people, including Indian nations from New Mexico and across North America, have demonstrated their deep concern about the lack of consultation by the federal government and the potential environmental hazard this pipeline poses for the water. They have stood up for their rights despite harsh weather and the use of inexcusable violence against them. All New Mexicans know that water is life, and throughout our history we have seen environmental injustices done time and again to Native people. That is one reason many New Mexicans are among the protesters at Standing Rock. The Army Corps of Engineers is right – there is much more work to be done to consult with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ensure the water is protected. Exploring alternative routes with a full Environmental Impact Statement, while continuing the ongoing discussions with the tribe, is the right step to take.”
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM): “President Obama has just risen to the challenge and listened to all of our voices to reject the current route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. I commend our president for doing the right thing and thank the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the protectors standing in solidarity with them for working so fearlessly for this outcome.”
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA36): “I am delighted at the denial of the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe. I have been calling for this since I visited the Sacred Stone Camp. Today we can celebrate a victory for democracy, the right to self-determination, and all Native American water protectors who through peace and prayer fought to defend their health and cultural heritage. We must remain vigilant and ensure any future plan includes meaningful consultation with tribes.”
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): “It’s long past time that a decision is made on the easement going under Lake Oahe. This administration’s delay in taking action — after I’ve pushed the White House, Army Corps, and other federal agencies for months to make a decision – means that today’s move doesn’t actually bring finality to the project. The pipeline still remains in limbo. The incoming administration already stated its support for the project and the courts have already stated twice that it appeared the Corps followed the required process in considering the permit. For the next month and a half, nothing about this project will change. For the immediate future, the safety of residents, protesters, law enforcement, and workers remains my top priority as it should for everyone involved. As some of the protesters have become increasingly violent and unlawful, and as North Dakota’s winter has already arrived – with a blizzard raging last week through the area where protesters are located – I’m hoping now that protesters will act responsibly to avoid endangering their health and safety, and move off of the Corps land north of the Cannonball River.
“Additionally, our federal delegation and governor have been working together in a bipartisan effort to push for more federal resources for law enforcement who have worked day and night through weekends and holidays to support the safety of our communities. The administration needs to provide those funds – whether the protesters remain or not.”
CONTINUED PRAYERS FOR THIS PROCESS AND THOSE WHO WAS HURT ON THE FRONT LINES.
WE STAND IN SOLIDARITY. WATER IS LIFE!
Ms. Taylor R. Tupper
Klamath Tribes Public Information/News Dept.
Tribal Administration Office
501 Chiloquin Blvd, or PO Box 436
Chiloquin, Oregon 97624
Phone: 541-783-2219 ext. 147