Native American Tribes Take a Stand Against Pipeline, Celebrities Show Support

Celebrities, including Shailene Woodley, have joined with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction of an oil pipeline with potential to pollute drinking water.


By Sheryl Estrada

Reuters

North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to contest the construction of a $3.8 billion, four-state oil pipeline, which they say would pollute water and desecrate sacred land.

On Wednesday, a federal court in Washington, D.C., heard a challenge by the Standing Rock Nation, which seeks a preliminary injunction against federal agencies that approved theBakken pipeline, also known as the Dakota Access pipeline. District Court Judge James Boasberg said he would announce his decision by September 9. He set a status hearing for September 14.

Outside the courthouse, “Divergent” star Shailene Woodley, 24, an environmentalist and a vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, headlined a rally consisting of more than 100 people. Tribe members from across the country were also joined by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon and actress and songwriter Riley Keough.

“Clean water is now a political issue. It shouldn’t be, but it is,” Woodley, who has been protesting against the pipeline since February, said in an interview.

In the following video, Woodley explains why she is against the pipeline:

Woodley and Keough, daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and eldest grandchild of Elvis Presleyand Priscilla Presley, also attended a “Stop The Dakota Access Pipeline” protest on August 7 in New York City.

Energy Transfer Partners is leading a group of firms in building the nearly 1,170 mile buried pipeline. It would be the first pipeline to carry more than 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. The company said it would provide millions of dollars for local economies and is safer than train cars and trucks to transport the oil.

The pipeline would cross the Missouri River a mile away from the Standing Rock Reservation. The tribe said that if the pipeline leaks or breaks, a large amount of crude oil would spill into the river, threatening residents’ drinking water and potentiallyaffecting millions of people.

Related Story:Meeting in a Box: National Native American Heritage Month

The tribe said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not conduct efficient historical and cultural reviews before granting a federal permit for the pipeline in July.Although the majority of the pipeline runs along private land, federal approvals are requiredwhere it crosses bodies of water.

“They’re going under the river 500 yards from my son’s grave, my father’s grave, my aunt who I buried last week,” Ladonna Allard, a member of the Standing Rock Nation and the closest landowner to the proposed pipeline, said in April. “I really love my land, and if that pipeline breaks everything is gone.”

Construction has been slowed since April by protests in North Dakota, and some work has been halted. Lakota Sioux protesters won a short-term victory on August 17 when Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas agreed to halt construction near the reservation for a week, until the federal court date.

Prior to the agreement, the company sought a restraining order against protesters on August 15. Prairie Public Broadcasting reported that two days later the number of protesters grew to more than 1,500: “Native Americans from Wyoming, Colorado and as far as Oklahoma are pulling up by the busload.”

“I could give you a list of every wrongdoing this government did to our people. All of that is frustration pent up, and it’s being recognized,” Dave Archambault II, the tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux,told The New York Times.

Latest News

Abraham Lincoln High School

San Francisco School Board Forced to Abandon Controversial Plan to Rename Schools Honoring Historic Figures

The San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education drew nationwide attention earlier this year over its announcement to change the name of 44 schools “named after figures with disputed historical relevance.” And now, following widespread public condemnation and a vote of members, the board has decided it will no…

Park Cannon

Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Park Cannon, Georgia Representative Arrested For Protesting State’s New Racist Voter Restriction Laws

Reaction to Georgia’s restrictive and anti-Black voter disenfranchisement policies continues to stir up controversy. Major League Baseball pulled their wildly popular 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta and moved it to Denver to show their disappointment with the decision. Georgia-based companies like Delta and Coca-Cola have also announced their disapproval of…

Dow Receives Five 2021 Manufacturing Leadership Awards

Originally published at corporate.dow.com. Dow ranked No. 22 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Dow has been recognized with five Manufacturing Leadership Awards by the Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers. The awards are given to individuals and projects…

Dow Wins With Product Performance and Sustainability at the Leading 2021 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards

Originally published at corporate.dow.com. Dow ranked No. 22 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Dow clinched two notable product wins for superior performance and wide application at the 2021 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards in the Plastics Raw Materials & Additives category: Dow’s Post-Consumer Recycled…

BASF Presents Roadmap to Climate Neutrality

Originally published at basf.com. BASF ranked No. 14 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   BASF is setting itself even more ambitious goals on its journey to climate neutrality and wants to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Based on the most recent progress in developing…