News March 2017

Kristeen Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe
3-20-17 ~ North Dakota justifies eviction at Standing Rock to prevent “environmental catastrophe”
The collection of documents released to us illustrate how fraught the relationship is between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and North Dakota, with multiple references to the camp being “an ecological disaster waiting to happen.” Claims that the camp was going to pollute the Cannonball River were issued by Burgum himself, and members of his staff.

3-18-17 ~ Appeals court refuses to stop oil in Dakota Access pipeline
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Saturday denied a request from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes for an emergency order. That means the pipeline to move North Dakota oil to Illinois could be operating as early as Monday.

3-17-17 ~ Sami people persuade Norway pension fund to divest from Dakota Access
In an act of international solidarity between indigenous peoples, the Sami parliament in Norway has persuaded the country’s second largest pension fund to withdraw its money from companies linked to a controversial oil project backed by Donald Trump.

3-17-17 ~ Judge Combines 4 Tribal Suits Over Dakota Access Pipeline
The neighboring Standing Rock and Cheyenne River tribes teamed up last summer in the main lawsuit against Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that granted pipeline permits at more than 200 water crossings, including the Missouri River. The Yankton Sioux also sued last summer, and the Oglala Sioux filed its own lawsuit last month. The four Dakotas tribes make essentially the same claims: The pipeline threatens cultural sites and the Missouri, from which they get water for drinking and religious practices.

3-16-17 ~ We asked for your messages to Trump about Standing Rock. Here’s what you said
A few weeks ago, before the last protest camps at Standing Rock were cleared, President Donald Trump said he hadn’t “received a single call from anyone” about the Dakota Access pipeline. One reason that could’ve been the case? The White House comment line was blocked to incoming messages. So we created our own phone number and asked you to leave us a voicemail explaining what you think Trump should know about the pipeline.

3-16-17 ~ San Francisco Votes No on DAPL
Board of Supervisors’ unanimous resolution aims to pull $1.2 billion of San Francisco funds out of DAPL banks

3-16-17 ~ Is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe running out of legal options to stop the pipeline?
Audio: Dakota and Dine Nation activist Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network discussed the Dakota Access pipeline and what’s happened since President Trump signed an executive order to continue construction.

3-15-17 ~ From the Ashes of Standing Rock, a Beautiful Resistance is Born
If you’re like me, you are probably feeling a deep sorrow in your heart over the news that oil will soon flow through that black snake of death, the Dakota Access Pipeline. Despite the largest gathering of tribes in over 100 years, despite the prayers and militant resistance, despite hundreds of water protectors facing trumped up felony charges, despite the occupations, blockades, lockdowns and sabotage; DAPL has prevailed. It is true, we lost the battle of Standing Rock, but there are signs that we are winning the war on fossil fuel infrastructure.

3-15-17 ~ Amnesty International raises concerns about treatment of pipeline protesters
The board of Amnesty International USA says it has “serious human rights concerns” about the treatment of Dakota Access Pipeline opponents on or near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The organization’s board of directors recently wrote a letter to North Dakota’s governor and attorney general calling on state officials to investigate the use of water hoses and chemical irritants used against protesters and arrests the organization said involved excessive force.

3-15-17 ~ Smithsonian Says It Was Wrong to Ask Water Protectors to Remove Jackets
A group of Native American women who were in Washington, D.C. to take part in the Native Nations Rise March are asking for the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) to increase cultural sensitivity training for its workers after the women were forced by staff to remove their jackets, which were adorned with patches and pins supporting water protectors and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

3-15-17 ~ The Revolution Will Not Be Televised… But It Will Be Livestreamed
Beneath the dusking sky in Standing Rock, North Dakota, on February 21, 2017, approximately 50 journalists gathered on a hillside overlooking the Oceti Sakowin Camp, where for months thousands of people from all over the world had converged to fight against the construction of the 3.8 billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline. Some of the journalists were trying to protect themselves and their camera equipment from the spitting rain that had started up once again. Others simply resigned themselves to the elements. Most were covered in mud.

3-15-17 ~ Highway 1806 to reopen Friday
Pilot cars will escort vehicles through the stretch, and drivers should expect 30-minute delays, according to a statement by the state’s Joint Information Center released Tuesday. The two-way traffic pattern includes crosssing the contested Backwater Bridge.

3-15-17 ~ Norway’s largest insurance company to divest $67 million from DAPL, says Human rights are violated
The public sector union fund said it was divesting “due to an unacceptable risk of contributing to serious or systemic human rights violations.” n Monday a USD$70 billion pension fund owned by Norway’s public sector employee unions announced that it would divest from four companies involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline Project “due to an unacceptable risk of contributing to serious or systemic human rights violations.”

3-15-17 ~ Dakota Access protest camps cleared after $1.1 million federal cleanup; four more dogs rescued
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrapped up its $1.1 million cleanup of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camps on federal land in North Dakota, hauling away 835 dumpsters of remaining trash and debris. The site, once occupied by thousands of environmental demonstrators, is now vacant.

3-15-17 ~ Largest march for native rights in DC ignored by the White House and mainstream media
The White House didn’t comment nor answer to the tribe’s request. There were a few mainstream Media sources that relayed the event, but the most important information was from social media sites, Twitter and Facebook. Native American tribes and their supporters headed to the US capital for four days of demonstrations against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and to raise awareness of other issues affecting Native Americans.

3-14-17 ~ Talk of the Town: Dakota pipeline will benefit humanity, extend fossil fuel resources
The saga of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) (crude oil) continued with the Jan. 24 signing by President Trump of an executive order directing the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner, to the extent provided by law” the easements across federal lands necessary to complete the construction of the DAPL. On Feb. 7, it was announced that the Corps had approved the subject easements.

3-14-17 ~ U.S. judge denies tribe’s request to stop oil flow in Dakota Access pipeline
Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued his decision denying the request by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, saying the court “acknowledges that the tribe is likely to suffer irreparable harm to its members’ religious exercise if oil is introduced into the pipeline, but Dakota Access would also be substantially harmed by an injunction, given the financial and logistical injuries that would ensue.”

3-12-17 ~ North Dakota Introduces Resolution to give State’s Rights over Reservations
January 26 Rep. Kempenich, Steiner introduced a resolution to urge Congress to give State’s the ability to engage with Tribes over development on reservations. HRC 3017 reads: “A concurrent resolution urging Congress to modify the Indian reservation system by vesting the states with the ability to engage in relations with Native American tribes and with the responsibility of developing plans to improve the failed Indian reservation system, advance and elevate the quality of life on Indian reservations, promote and increase literacy on Indian reservations, and help Indian reservations to achieve economic stability and independence.”

3-11-17 ~ Indiana reveals the arsenal they brought with them to Standing Rock
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has provided us with a remarkably unredacted look at their EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) agreement with North Dakota. 37 sworn law enforcement officers from nine different Indiana agencies including Indianapolis Metropolitan PD, were deployed to Morton County. Their mission lasted for 18 days and went through late October to early November.

3-10-17 ~ Tipis Rise on the National Mall
Tipis have sprung up on the National Mall alongside the Washington Monument as Natives and allies converge on the U.S. capital to demand a halt to humans’ collective destruction of our habitat, starting with fossil fuels and pipelines. Indigenous Peoples are flocking to Washington D.C. for four days of events including musical performances, panels and other cultural activities, centered around resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as well as to uphold indigenous and treaty rights, and to stand for environmental justice.

3-10-17 ~ ND officials hope to mend tribal relationship after pipeline protests
In the days after Dakota Access Pipeline protesters left the main camps, state leaders are hoping to mend a relationship with North Dakota tribes that many said became frayed during the monthslong protests.

3-9-17 ~ Standing Rock activists just released their first, brutally effective #NoDAPL TV commercial
This week, #NoDAPL activists at the Lakota Law Project released what is perhaps the most direct appeal to that second arena to date: A short, emotionally stirring TV commercial that highlights not only the potential environmental risks posed by the oil pipeline, but the blatant hypocrisy of those who argued to move its path away from a city at the expense of the neighboring Standing Rock tribe.

3-9-17 ~ Police win warrant to search Dakota Access Pipeline protest Facebook page
The warrant from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department seeks data surrounding the Bellingham #NoDAPL Coalition’s Facebook page. The page, with more than 1,000 followers, provides information about pipeline environmental issues and is used to organize political protests and connect political activists.

3-8-17 ~ Dakota Pipeline protests come to Wall Street: Native American activists hope to pressure big banks to back off
In less than 60 days in office, President Donald Trump has set back the nation and the entire planet at least 30 years when it comes to the looming environmental challenges we face from climate change and increasing fresh water scarcity. Imagine Trump as an evil version of Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown, the mad scientist in “Back to the Future” who offers Marty McFly a joyride into the past in his DeLorean, while clad in a snappy Make America Great Again baseball cap.

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a motion to quash a warrant issued to police to search a Facebook community page for a broad range of information about a local group engaged in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline and advocating for environmental justice.

3-8-17 ~ Oil could begin flowing through Dakota Access pipeline as early as next week
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg in Washington denied a request by the Cheyenne River Indian tribe to halt construction on grounds that the pipeline violated its members’ religious freedom. The tribe had claimed that the pipeline was “a terrible Black Snake prophesied to come into the Lakota homeland and cause destruction” by desecrating water used in religious ceremonies.

3-7-17 ~ Judge denies tribe’s request to block Dakota Access pipeline
A federal judge on Tuesday denied a Native American tribe’s request to block the Dakota Access pipeline. The Cheyenne River Sioux tribe said the controversial oil pipeline project violates its religious freedom due to its placement under Lake Oahe. The tribe uses the lake for sacred ceremonies, and its lawyers argued that the mere presence of an oil pipeline under the lake desecrates the water and violates their religious freedom.

the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed “the district court’s partial summary judgment in favor of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the United States, which declared that the United States impliedly reserved appurtenant water sources, including groundwater, when it created the Tribe’s reservation in California’s arid Coachella Valley.”

3-6-17 ~ Memos Reveal Army Corps Knows Dakota Access Pipeline Violates Legal Requirement
On March 3, MinnPost reported that four memos were pulled from the Department of the Interior website on the Army Corps of Engineers after Donald Trump took office, citing their removal signifies, “an attempt to make opaque some serious shortcomings in the Corps’ performance on DAPL that are little known and less understood.”

3-6-17 ~ More questions about donations following the end of Sacred Stone Camp
Now, in the days after the remaining water protectors were forced to leave Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota, which also left many questions about the donation money that was received by LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard for the camp. It is not the first time people have had questions about donations raised for the water protectors. Previously we witnessed a huge backlash when the Standing Rock Sioux tribal council announced $3.1 million of the donated money would go toward the tribe’s standing debts.

3-6-17 ~ Catholics Call Dakota Access Pipeline “Morally Unacceptable”
Would Jesus put the profits of a few before the health of many? Not likely. It’s easy then to know how Jesus would feel about the Dakota Access pipeline, which puts drinking water for millions at risk.

3-3-17 ~ Taking NoDAPL to the White House: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to lead historic march on Washington
n Friday, March 10, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe will march with indigenous people and allies to oppose Trump’s continued aggression on tribal nations and stand in solidarity with all Native Nations to protect their sovereignty. Since his inauguration, Trump has worked to force through the Dakota Access Pipeline. He has disregarded the Environmental Impact Statement process, ignored tribal consultation, and acted in clear violation of treaty rights. Members of his administration have even blatantly lied about their communication with the Tribe. The Tribe is marching to call on the administration to hear why it’s critical for the U.S. government to respect treaty rights.

3-3-17 ~ U.N. Investigator Says Native American Rights were Violated by DAPL Law Enforcement
An official with the United Nations says the rights of Native Americans in North Dakota are not being respected by the state. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz visited Dakota Access protest camps in Morton County. Tauli-Corpuz is the U.N.’s special investigator on the rights of indigenous peoples. She says authorities used unnecessary force and that the reports of the cleanup in the county have been blown out of proportion.

3-3-17 ~ Suppressed memo shows many failings in Corps review of Dakota Access plan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fast-track approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline’s Missouri River crossing on January 24, four legal memoranda related to the project were pulled from the Interior Department website.

3-3-17 ~ Leadhorse Choctaw Arrested at Ceremonial Grounds at Standing Rock, Now on Hunger Strike in Jail
Leadhorse Choctaw was arrested at the Ceremonial Grounds during the raid on the Seventh Generation Camp when the camp was attacked by police. Leadhorse was manning the Sacred Fire when he was pepper sprayed and handcuffed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs police. “Leadhorse was kidnapped by BIA police and taken to the Fort Yates Jail. He is on a hunger strike and told the court he will die there for the cause.”

3-2-17 ~ North Dakota casino proposal risks angering tribes
North Dakota’s top House Republican is proposing six state-owned casinos, a move that risks angering American Indian tribes at a time relations have already been rubbed raw by the dispute over the Dakota Access oil pipeline.The only casinos in North Dakota are on the state’s five American Indian reservations, and those are central to the tribes’ economies. Some lawmakers say Fargo Rep. Al Carlson’s proposal to add six state-owned casinos is little more than a threat of payback for millions of dollars in law enforcement and other costs the state bore because of protests over the Dakota Access pipeline.

3-2-17 ~ Three Unicorn Riot Journalists Have #NoDAPL Arrest Charges Dropped
Three Unicorn Riot journalists who were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing while documenting #NoDAPL direct actions have had their charges dropped in court dates set for the first three days of March. On Wednesday, March 1, Unicorn Riot journalist Jenn Schreiter had their criminal trespass charge dismissed in Iowa. The following Thursday, March 2, two other Unicorn Riot journalists had their criminal trespassing charges dropped in North Dakota.

3-1-17 ~ Sen. Franken Wants FBI Explanation Why It’s Investigating DAPL Protesters
“I am concerned that the reported questioning of political activists by one of the FBI’s terrorism task forces threatens to chill constitutionally protected conduct and speech,” Senator Franken writes in the letter. Franken cites reports that JTTF agents have attempted to question at least three individuals who opposed the Dakota Access pipeline at camps at Standing Rock.

3-1-17 ~ Private investor divests $34.8m from firms tied to Dakota Access pipeline
Norway’s largest private investor is divesting from three companies tied to the Dakota Access pipeline, a small victory for the Standing Rock movement one week after the eviction of the main protest encampment.

3-1-17 ~ Private investor divests $34.8m from firms tied to Dakota Access pipeline
Norway’s largest private investor is divesting from three companies tied to the Dakota Access pipeline, a small victory for the Standing Rock movement one week after the eviction of the main protest encampment.