Topics: Environment, Politics, Water

DAPL denied access - What now for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe?

By Peata Melbourne

More than 8,000 people at Standing Rock have been vindicated by the announcement that the Dakota Access Pipeline has been denied access through their sacred treaty lands. Their nine-month battle has seen them face harsh brutality by law enforcement, snowstorms, and blocked access to emergency services by the law.

"It's not surprising that people tried to trap the people in, tried to block the people in and starve them out as a tactic to make them give up but they fail to realise that we are not going to give up," says one protester.

The US Army Corps of Engineers Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy made the announcement that the Army will not approve an easement to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Her decision is based on the need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing.

"Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do," says Darcy.

Two thousand veterans self-deployed to Standing Rock this past weekend plan to envelop the “water protectors” protesting the pipeline in any confrontation that may arise between them and law enforcement.

It is being reported that the veteran's presence at the camp has influenced the US Army Corps decision to deny access to the oil company.

However, Energy Transfer Partners has slammed the decision by the US Army Corps saying, "further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favour of currying favour with a narrow and extreme political constituency."

In a written statement ETP and SXL says,"We are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way."

Meanwhile, in Canada, the First Nation's people are still coming around to the Government of Canada approving the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project.

"It will create 15,000 new middle-class jobs, the majority of them in the trades this major initiative will get hard-working Canadians back to work, put food on the table for middle-class families and grow and strengthen our communities" Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced publicly at a press conference.

His decision has Canada's First Nation's people baffled following his previous commitments. 

"He's been absolutely consistent in reneging and breaking the promises he made to us" says British Colombia Grant Chief Stewart Phillip.

It doesn't mean that we will stand down, the struggle will simply intensify, it will become more litigious, it will become more political and the battle will continue."

That too could be the case for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation if Trump can persuade the US Army Corps to renege on their decision when he comes into office in the new year, a decision that Energy Transfer Partners is counting on.