The #NoDAPL Campaign Gains A Major Victory As Drill Work Halted

In the last two hours the United States Army Corps of Engineers has officially announced that it will withhold its approval for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to drill under the Missouri River, granting a major concession to the neighbouring Standing Rock Native American Reservation following weeks of protests by residents in the effected region of North Dakota. A statement issued by the US Army on Sunday explained that the assistant secretary for civil works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, had arrived at her decision based upon,

…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.

Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.

The following response has just been released by the 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.”

While this is good news the campaign against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the erosion of indigenous sovereignty rights by US authorities is not over yet.

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5 comments

  1. Great news indeed!
    I’m surprised at all the credit given to Obama, I thought he’d washed his hands of the whole thing – he’s mentioned three times in very complimentary terms in that statement. Is it the case that he quietly went about fixing it while others were vilifying him for inaction?

  2. No. It is the hope by praising him, that he does not override the truly courageous decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to halt this nonsense (don’t forget that this whole mess started under this administration and benefits his home state the most). He and his administration have used the usual “watch and see” inaction, like they did in all the other civil unrest throughout this administration’s tenure. They always just came in when it was basically over, did whatever, then left without even publicly briefing their findings. They then sent the Department of Justice’s civil rights section to have state and local taxes pay for nonsensical fixes, where only a complete tear-down and restart would have yielded any results at all. In this case, all the Department of Justice would have had to have done was to file an injunction based on the suspicion of the use of excessive force, which in the United States presents a federal civil rights violation and allows the Department of Justice to investigate. They did not do that, despite the obvious excessive force used, often by private persons acting as private security. They could have done it right after the first day of violence and prevented much harm, and alleviated much of the lost trust in government as a whole. This administration overall absolutely sucked at handling emergencies, natural or man-made. I don’t know what to expect from the next one, but the vibe I am getting is not exactly positive.

  3. Very interesting! Thanks for that, it’s the detail that’s hard to unravel from the various propaganda organs that pass the news on to us here. I was thinking it was a bit too active for Obama alright.

  4. I am just deathly worried about what Trump could do. These several days have been ones of jubilation for the good people over here. Thing is, as soon as ittakes office, it can overturn the Army Corps of Engineers’s decision at the drop of a hat. And it likely will.

    This pipeline is (I say isbecause the threat is nowhere near past) is a violation of an international treaty – between the U.S. and the Standing Rock Sioux – and a death sentence for human beings (who depend on water to survive. Mni Wiconi!).

    I enjoyed being happy and ecstatic for a couple minutes on Sunday night. Now I am back in the dark night of reality, from which there is no escape…except a flight to Dublin. O, for the green fields of old Ireland!

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