We Cannot Negotiate for the Water

Cannon Ball, North Dakota-- Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement offering to consult with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about ways to proceed with the Lake Oahe crossing. While this is a step in the right direction, this ignores the demands made by the tribes, the grassroots encampment, countless allied environmental organization, and millions of people standing in solidarity across the globe.

The tribe’s pending lawsuit against the Army Corps for its violation of federal law during the permitting process thoroughly articulates the tribe’s case which asks for the Corps to permanently vacate the permits and initiate a full Environmental Impact Statement and a survey of cultural resources in formal nation-to-nation consultation.

The Army Corps has not only refused to perform this review as required by federal law, but has also allowed the destruction of countless sacred and cultural sites and authorized Morton County to arrest and forcibly remove people trying to access identified sacred sites.

In fact, DAPL’s anticipatory demolition of sacred sites on September 3rd in order to avoid their protection triggers a clause in Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Acts that prohibits the Army Corps from issuing any more permits for this project.

The coalition on the ground reiterates its demand for a full Environmental Impact Statement and will continue to resist this pipeline as long as it lacks the free, prior, and informed consent of the people of this land.

The following are response statements:

LaDonna Bravebull Allard, Sacred Stone Camp spokeswoman- "We do not negotiate.  We cannot negotiate the safety of the water, and we will not negotiate.  We will stand, and continue to stand until every pipe is out of the ground.  As our leaders come together, they need to understand that the people's voice comes first."

Tara Houska, Honor the Earth, National Campaigns Director - "There are communities going underwater from rising seas. Cancer clusters, destruction of sacred places. Indigenous people being attacked by dogs, maced, shot with rubber bullets. Climate change is happening now. Dakota Access is bulldozing burial grounds and hurting water protectors now. The delays and noncommittal statements from the Obama administration are disappointing to say the least. We want answers. Conduct an Environmental Impact Statement. Halt the construction of this destructive project."

Eryn Wise, International Indigenous Youth Council Spokeswoman-  “We as youth will not be deterred from our ultimate goal: killing the black snake and protecting the water. Our ancestors prophesied that we would come together to ensure a future for the next seven generations and that is what we intend to do. Our very existence is an act of resistance and we will resist the Dakota Access Pipeline every single day until justice is restored to our Mother.”

Kandi Mosset, Indigenous Environmental Network, Extreme Energy Organizer - "It's disappointing that we're all sitting on pins and needles waiting for an Obama administration to help us and yet they remain silent.  President-elect Trump has no regard for the environment and cares even less about those of us trying to protect it.  The Obama administration, now more than ever, has to step up and either rescind the permits given under Nationwide Permit 12; call for a full Environmental Impact Statement or flat out reject the Dakota Access Pipeline project from moving forward."