American Indians, ancestral gravesites, archaeological sites, burial sites, Cannonball River, Civil Rights, clean water, Dakota Access Pipeline, Eminent Domain, Energy Transfer Partners, environment, expropriation, Federal Court, First Amendment Rights, government to government consultation, historical sites, Lake Oahe, law, legal action, Missouri River, National Historic Preservation Act, Native Americans, Natural Gas & Oil Drilling, NEPA, nonviolence, North Dakota, prayer, prayer sites, protection of tribal lands, protection of tribal resources, protectors, risk management, sacred sites, Sacred Stone Camp, sacred tribal burial site, Sioux, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Treaty Rights, US Army Corps of Engineers, US DOJ, USA, water, water protectors
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Archambault II statement, 9 Sept 2016, via Standing Rock Facebook page:
“Regardless of the court’s decision today, we are winning the spiritual battle. We must continue to have faith and believe in the strength of our prayers and not do anything in violence. We must believe in the creator and good things will come. We will continue to stand united and peaceful in our opposition to the pipeline.” (Emphasis our own)
On the one hand the statement by the USDOJ, Army, and Dept of the Interior says that they will stop construction on public land supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. On the other hand, they ask for a voluntary halt by Dakota Access Pipeline on a more extensive land area: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/joint-statement-from-the-dept-of-justice-dept-of-the-army-and-the-dept-of-the-interior-regarding-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-v-u-s-army-corps-of-engineers/ [Note that Energy Transfer Partners-Dakota Access Pipeline appear to have metaphorically shot themselves in the foot with the use of attack dogs against peaceful American Indian protestors. This forced the US DOJ to take serious action. The Government to Government, Nation to Nation, discussions will probably take at least one year, probably more. Thus, the Obama administration throws the situation to the next president. These are American Indian Nations. Their status is unique. Hence the government to government discussions, which are in order.]
From the Sept. 9, 2016 Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Media Advisory: “Chairman of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to make statements from state capitol following Dakota Access Pipeline court decision“:
“On Sept. 7, a partial temporary restraining order was granted to halt construction west of Lake Oahe after significant sacred sites were destroyed one day after court papers were filed identifying the sites as containing sacred artifacts and graves.
“Regardless of the court’s decision today, we will continue to be united and peaceful in our opposition to the pipeline,” said Dave Archambault II, Chairman of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Our ultimate goal is permanent protection of our sacred sites and our water. We must continue to have faith and believe in the strength of our prayers and not do anything in violence. We must believe in the creator and good things will come.” (Emphasis our own).
From the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Sept. 9, 2016
DOJ, Army, and DOI call for halt to construction of Dakota Access Pipeline, national reform on tribal consultation
Call comes in wake of today’s court ruling against Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Cannon Ball, N.D.—The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior today called for a stop to construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline while also calling for national reform to “ensure meaningful tribal input” on infrastructure projects. Their announcement came via press release today in the wake of a decision by the U.S. District Court to deny the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for injunction to halt pipeline construction.
“Our hearts are full, this an historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and for tribes across the nation,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Today, three federal agencies announced the significant decision to respect tribal sovereignty and stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Army Corps land.”
In its release, the Department of Justice emphasized that “important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.” As a result, the release says, the Army will not authorize construction of the pipeline “on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws.”
“Our voices have been heard,” said Archambault. “The Obama administration has asked tribes to the table to make sure that we have meaningful consultation on infrastructure projects. Native peoples have suffered generations of broken promises and today the federal government said that national reform is needed to better ensure that tribes have a voice on infrastructure projects like this pipeline.”
The Tribe notes, however, that the fight isn’t over to protect sacred sites and the water source for 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River.
“I want to take a moment and reflect on this historic moment in Indian Country,” said Archambault. “But I know that our work is not done. We need to to permanently protect our sacred sites and our water. There are areas on the construction route that do not fall within federal jurisdiction, so we will continue to fight.”
Thousands of supporters and hundreds of tribes have joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“I walk through the camps and I am filled with gratitude for the love and care that thousands have shown in this fight,” said Archambault. “I want to share with supporters that we at Standing Rock are thankful. We are blessed by your continued support. Let us remain in peace and solidarity as we work to permanently protect our water.” (Emphasis our own. Original here: http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/Press-Release-Standing-Rock-Sioux-Court-and-DOJ-Decisions_FINAL-9.9.16.pdf )
What happened on Friday, Sept. 9?
Decision on Request for Preliminary Injunction
At least some of the private land for the pipeline has apparently been taken via expropriation-eminent domain. This appears to occur on the state level. Much probably occurs by what is not official expropriation but a sort of tacit threat, intimidation, that the pipeline will go through, that it is a fait accompli, and that if the landowner wants to get a bit more money for it then he or she needs to comply – that if forced then they will only get bargain basement price for it. This is the way other developers have been known to operate, and it is doubtful that this company is “nicer”, considering its apparent use of attack dogs against protestors.
Wouldn’t water rights on the private land, or any other subsurface rights such as burial, belong to the federal government if mineral rights in this part of the country generally do?
Duke FM report on the case, which includes photos from the court documents: https://web.archive.org/web/20160909052728/http://dukefmfargo.com/news/articles/2016/sep/08/affidavit-says-dakota-access-pipeline-threatens-27-gravesites/
Wikipedia Article on Eminent Domain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain_in_the_United_States
Some excellent, related, legal articles. More found at the same web site:
http://www.lexenergy.net/pipeline-easements-a-fair-deal http://www.lexenergy.net/leaky-laws-oil-spill-liability-north-dakota http://www.lexenergy.net/tribal-water-rights-road-to-securing-water/