“If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace. Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade. Where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty.” ~ Chief Joseph, Nez Perces
Jo-Ellen Darcy from The Army Corps of Engineers announced today that they will not be granting Energy Transfer Partners a permit to drill under the Missouri river.
“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. The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.” ~ Jo-Ellen Darcy
This is a surprise turnaround for many, as the tribe leaders were going through court to try to prevent the construction work from taking place, because Energy Transfer Partners had previously stated that the opportunity to reroute the pipeline had already passed with the company’s CEO, Kelcy Warren, explaining to the Associated Press, “There’s not another way. We’re building at that location.”
However, today the Native American tribes were victorious.
The Sioux tribe, along with supporters that include more than 90 Native American tribes, had been demonstrating peacefully with prayers in an attempt to prevent the construction of a $3.7 billion oil pipeline (which would have run within a half mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation), as they had cause to believe it would endanger their water supply and damage ancient burial and sacred prayer sites.
All of the water protectors who had gathered in freezing conditions at the encampment on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation erupted with cheers and loud chants of Mni Waconi “Water is life.”
Peaceful demonstrators have been camped out since April 2016 to oppose the proposed construction work of the pipeline that was planned to run through the Missouri River, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s main water source. There was strong reason to believe the pipeline could potentially poison the tribes, as well the surrounding area’s water supply.
This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as well as giving hope for others opposing pipelines across the world, as the pipelines are a serious concern, as oil spills are regular occurrences.
Sunoco Logistics (Energy Transfer is the parent company of Sunoco and the pipeline company who are responsible for constructing the Dakota Access pipeline) have recorded 200 leaks on their pipes since 2010.
There were a total of 3,000 pipeline spills in the U.S. between 2010 and 2015.
“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.” ~ Chief Seattle
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Instagram @undocumedia
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock