“A series of ‘game-changing’ developments impacting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) battle on Friday afternoon were testament to the power of organizing. Striking a blow to the vibrant, Indigenous-led resistance movement that has sprung up against the four-state oil pipeline, a federal judge on Friday denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's attempt to halt its construction.
“Shortly afterward, however, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior issued a joint statement indicating that ‘important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding [DAPL] specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.’
“As a result, the statement read, construction on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe—which straddles North and South Dakota—will be halted until the Corps ‘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.’ ‘In the interim,’ the agencies continued, ‘we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.’
“The statement continued: Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects. Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals…”
For the complete article by Deirdre Fulton, US Government Steps In After Judge Rules against Standing Rock Sioux, click here.