Tribal Officials Prepare For Pipeline Resistance One Day After Presidential Memoranda

Jan 25, 2017

Credit Melisa Hamersma / SDPB

Native American Activists say they’re heading back to the Oceti Sakowin camp near Cannonball, North Dakota, following President Donald Trump’s memorandum regarding two controversial pipelines.
 
Tribal Leaders in the Standing Rock Reservation say the fight is now political, and should be fought in the nation’s capital.

Around 50 protestors gather on the steps of the South Dakota capitol. The message: South Dakotan’s, both tribal and otherwise, will bear the brunt of a pipeline spill if the Dakota Access Pipeline leaks.
 
The message comes one day after President Donald Trump signed a presidential memo green-lighting the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline projects.
 
Several activists are calling for a return to numbers near Standing Rock. The Oceti Sakowin camp is located in a river bottom where two rivers meet.
 
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frasier says a new camp is expected to form near the current camp.
 
“We intend to take some equipment to clear the land out so people could camp and start getting ready. So I would say probably by this weekend we should be," Frazier says. "But, we still do have members who do not want to move from where they’re at today. That’s fine. We’ve always said as long as we have someone there and they want to stay we’re going to continue to support them. So, there’s a few of our campers who don’t want to leave that bottom area, but we warned them. It will be flooding, here.”
 
Other tribal leaders say there are other ways people can fight the pipeline.
 
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe passed a resolution last week urging campers to leave. During a press conference occurring at the same time, Chairman Dave Archambault says the fight needs to go to the nation’s capital.
 
“America has to stand up and we all have to go to D.C. because this is not the issue that’s going to kill this country. This president is," Archambault says. "We have to get out there and we have to make our voices be heard. The fight is now in D.C.”
 
The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association is set to hold a meeting next week to discuss the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, as well as other environmental projects across treaty land.