Sunday, 4 December 2016

Plea from Standing Rock Sioux Tribes falling on deaf ears?

For months now the Dakota and Lakota people and their supporters have been resisting the establishment of an oil pipeline across their ancestral lands in North Dakota.

Thus far the courts have offered no relief and the U.S. Government is showing no desire to require that the pipeline path be altered. 

If you live in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, reflect on how lucky you are that that traditional owners, retirees, families, farmers, graziers, business people and the communities in which they live all came together and successfully fought off the threat to water security and the environment that coal seam gas mining represented. 

Those proposed gas field were also supposed to have a long pipeline.

Now look in your wallet and see if there are a few dollars to spare and consider donating at

"The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of American Indians.  81 Federal Register 26826, 26830 (May 4, 2016)." 

Excerpt from letter:
"Our Tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever. The best way to protect people during the winter, and reduce the risk of conflict between water protectors and militarized police, is to deny the easement for the Oahe crossing, and deny it now.
We ask that everyone who can appeal to President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to consider the future of our people and rescind all permits, and deny the easement to cross the Missouri River just north of our Reservation and straight through our treaty lands. When the Dakota Access Pipeline chose this route, they did not consider our strong opposition. Our concerns were clearly articulated directly to them in a tribal council meeting held on Sept. 30, 2014, where DAPL and the ND Public Service Commission came to us with this route. We have released the audio recording from that meeting.
Again, we ask that the United States stop the pipeline and move it outside our ancestral and treaty lands.
It is both unfortunate and disrespectful that this announcement comes the day after this country celebrates Thanksgiving—a historic exchange of goodwill between Native Americans and the first immigrants from Europe. Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the mistreatment of our people. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stands united with more than 300 tribal nations and the water protectors who are here peacefully protesting the Dakota access pipeline to bolster indigenous people’s rights. We continue to fight for these rights, which continue to be eroded. Although we have suffered much, we still have hope that the President will act on his commitment to close the chapter of broken promises to our people and especially our children.”

Plea for assistance sent on behalf of three Sioux tribes to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2 December 2016:

If anyone living in the Northern Rivers region would like to show support for the people at Standing Rock they may send a message to U.S. President Barack Obama on the White House website at


The people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation are often called Sioux. They are the members of the Dakota and Lakota Nations. “Dakota” and “Lakota” mean “friend” or “allies”. The term “Sioux”, dates back to the seventeenth century when some of the Dakota people were living in the Great Lakes area. The Ojibwa or Annishinaabe called the Lakota and Dakota “Nadouwesou” meaning “adders” or “little snakes”. This term was then shortened and corrupted by French traders, resulted in retention of the last syllable as “Sioux.”

The Dakota and Nakota people of Standing Rock include the Upper Yanktonai (in their language called Ihanktonwana, which translates to “little end villages”) and Yanktonai from the Cut Head Band. The Cut Heads, whose name is literally translated, get their title from the fact that when they withdrew from the Yanktonais, there was a row over secession and a fight. Their leader sustained a scalp wound and the name Cut Head was given. The Yankton and Yanktonais are called the Wiceyala or Middle Sioux. When the Middle Sioux moved onto the prairie, they had contact with the semisedentary riverine tribes such as the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara. Eventually the Yanktonai displaced these tribes and forced them upstream. However, periodically the Yanktonai did engage in trade with these tribes and eventually some bands adopted the earth lodge, bullboats and horticultural techniques of these people, though buffalo remained their primary food sources. The Yanktonai also maintained aspects of their former Woodland lifestyle. Today Yanktonai people of Standing Rock live primarily in communities on the North Dakota portion of the reservation.
The Lakota, as the largest division of the nation, are subdivided into the Oceti Sakowin or Seven Council Fires. The Lakota people of the Standing Rock Reservation included two of these subdivisions, the Hunkpapa, means “campers at the Horn” and Sihasapa or “Blackfeet,” not to be confused with the Algonquian Blackfeet of Montana and Canada, which are an entirely different group. The Hunkpapas get their name from their hereditary right of pitching their tepees at the outer edge of the village as defenders of the camp. The Sihasapa name comes from walking across a burned prairie after an unsuccessful expedition and their feet blackened, thus they were called the Blackfeet. The Lakota Hunkpapas and Sihasapa are the northern plains people and practically divested themselves of all woodland traits of their Dakota ancestors. The culture revolved around the horse and buffalo; the people were nomadic and lived in hide tepees year round. Their Hunkpapas and Sihasapa ranged in the area between the Cheyenne River and Heart Rivers to the south and north and between the Missouri River on the east and Tongue River to the west.


RT Question More, 4 December 2016:

The US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, the hotspot of massive protests of water protectors, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said in a statement, adding that alternative routes are now being studied.
"The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota," said a statement on the US Army website, citing the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy.

U.S. Army statement, 4 December 2016:

The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.
Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.
"Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do," Darcy said. "The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing." 
Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is an approximately 1,172 mile pipeline that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil terminal near Pakota, Illinois. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and is projected to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels. The current proposed pipeline route would cross Lake Oahe, an Army Corps of Engineers project on the Missouri River.

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