History has been made. The Army Corps of Engineers has denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline on sacred Sioux Indian land. The 1,172-mile oil pipeline which was planned to be constructed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation will be stopped.
This comes just as 2,000 U.S. military veterans have arrived at Standing Rock, amid freezing temperatures to protest against the construction of the pipeline.
Thousands of peaceful protesters have traveled from around the world all the way to North Dakota to help the Sioux fight for their land and water. They have also spoke out on social media and gained the attention of mainstream media which has helped get the world’s attention.
The Dakota Access Pipeline was said to have already disturbed sacred ancestral Native American lands, and threatens the tribe’s water supply. The $3.8bn (£2.98bn) pipeline is nearly finished. The company building it was waiting on the final government permit to dig the last section under the Missouri River amidst protest.
The police have used water cannons, tear gas and stun grenades on activists who approach the front line. Many activists have been arrested or badly injured as a result. The number of protesters has grown and support from around the world has been a blessing.
The Army Corps of Engineers said, they will not approve the easement that would have allowed the proposed pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, a large reservoir on the Missouri River in North Dakota which could potentially leak and poison the river and drinking water.
The Standing Rock Sioux thanked both President Obama and the thousands of people who supported their effort to stop the pipeline from being built on sacred land across Lake Oahe.
“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,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement. “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.” He also said that he hoped the Trump administration would “respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point.”
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released a statement, saying that the “thoughtful approach established by the Army today ensures that there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes for the pipeline and a closer look at potential impacts.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, released a statement saying, “I appreciate very much President Obama listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built.”
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said, “This is something that will go down in history and I know that it’s a blessing for all indigenous peoples.” Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.
“A historical moment for the Standing Rock Sioux and all of those who fought to protect our water and sacred land. If we all use our voices and work together, we can make positive change for the future of our planet and our children.” -Katie Cleary, President of World Animal News
Source: NBC News