Sunday, December 04, 2016

At Standing Rock and Beyond, Celebrating and Giving Thanks for a "Historic Decision"

Following is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s statement on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to not approve an easement (permit) that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Oil Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.

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.

– Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman

Above: A view of the Oceti Sakowin Camp, north of the Cannonball River, where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo: David Goldman/AP)

Above: Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters confront bulldozers working on the Dakota Access Pipeline near Cannon Ball, N.D. – November 2016. (Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Above: Police use a water cannon in freezing temperatures on a group of water protectors – November 20, 2016. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Above and below: Water Protectors of Standing Rock – November 7, 2016. (Photos: Dallas Goldtooth)

Above and right: Waters Protectors being attacked by police with tear gas and rubber bullets – November 2, 2016. (Photo: Johnny Dangers)

Above: “Cousins from the South” – a group of Aztecs – dance during the demonstration against the Dakota Access pipeline in Standing Rock on October 10, 2016. (Photo: Ellen Davidson)

Above: Perhaps one of the most iconic images from Standing Rock. (Photo: Standing Rock Rising)

Above: LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Sacred Stone Camp and one of the many indigenous women who comprise the "backbone of the Standing Rock movement." (Photo: Kat Eng)

Above: Tina Malia of the Oceti Sakowin Camp offers prayers at the edge of the Cannonball River at the foot of the sacred Turtle Island. (Photo: Kelly Daniels via Sacred Stone Camp)

2/23/17 UPDATE:
Water Protectors Vow Continued Resistance
as Militarized Operation Clears Camp

Related Off-site Links and Updates:
In Victory for Protesters, Army Halts Construction on Dakota Pipeline – Nathan Rott and Eyder Peralta (NPR News, December 4, 2016).
Army Blocks Drilling of Dakota Access Oil Pipeline – Jack Healy and Nicholas Fandos (New York Times, December 4, 2016).
Dakota Access Pipeline to Be Rerouted – Caroline Kenny, Gregory Krieg, Sara Sidner and Max Blau (CNN, December 4
Feds Block Route of Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota – The Associated Press via MPR News (December 4, 2016).
The Lesson from Standing Rock: Organizing and Resistance Can Win - Naomi Klein (The Nation, December 4, 2016).
The Victory at Standing Rock Could Mark a Turning Point - Bill McKibben (The Guardian, December 4, 2016).
DAPL Easement Denied, But the Fight's Not, December 4, 2016).
Christmas at Standing Rock – Theresa Martin (Sojourners, December 28, 2016).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Standing in Prayer and Solidarity with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock
Standing Together
Quote of the Day – August 19, 2016
Something to Think About – October 13, 2015
Words of Wisdom on Indigenous Peoples Day
Something to Think About – April 22, 2014
Threshold Musings
"Something Sacred Dwells There"

Image 1: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Image 2: David Rydenfalk.

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