Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (“DAPL”), many of them Sioux, promised to continue their efforts to halt the project. Several protesters spoke with members of the media in the wake of Trump Administration efforts to “expedite” the construction of a massive oil and natural gas line near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Chairman Dave Archambault spoke on behalf of impacted residents. He described President Trump’s recent executive memorandum in support of the project as both “reckless” and “politically motivated”.

 

The massive DAPL project would span 1,172 miles, extending from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Its route crosses under two powerful flood-prone rivers: the Missouri and the Mississippi.

 

Native American environmentalists (and others) fear a spill might permanently damage the sensitive water aquifers underlying portions of its route, potentially depriving local farmers and ranchers in the Great Plains region of an essential water source. Many Native American protesters also believe the proposed pipeline will intrude upon the integrity of landscapes held sacred by the Sioux Tribe for centuries. The project represents a clash between the oil and gas industry and Native American religious rights.

 

Native Americans from more than 100 tribes have united in opposition to the DAPL project, in fact. Last year, many of the protesters camped outdoors near the pipeline construction in frigid November weather to demonstrate their opposition. They established a make-shift camp, enduring difficult living conditions to express their solidarity. The recent presidential memorandum does not appear likely to quell the protest.

 

Categories: Dakota Access Pipeline, Native American, Native American Culture

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