The Fight to Protect Indigenous Land
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) poses a serious threat to the water and lands of the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota. Protesters from a local Sioux tribe in North Dakota garnered national and international support to stop construction of the pipeline under a local water source, but President Trump and the Army Corps of Engineers allowed the pipeline to be completed in early 2017. The protesters argued that the pipeline’s route under the nearby Missouri River (800 meters from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation) threatened the tribe’s water and livelihood. They also claimed that construction sites traversed sacred lands. Despite pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the companies responsible failed to properly consult tribes and conduct a full environmental impact survey.
Unfortunately this isn’t an isolated story: the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the Keystone XL, the Line 3, and the Energy East pipelines are all currently being built or operated without free, prior and informed consent from indigenous people.