Cheers erupted in the camp as word spread of the US Army Corps' monumental announcement.
On Sunday, approximately twenty thousand activists and water protectors gathered at the Sacred Stone Camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. According to Amanda Froelich who was on the grounds and reporting live for True Activist, cheers rang out as news spread of the US Army Corps announcing that it would not approve permits for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
The DAPL will no longer be routed underneath a dammed section of the Missouri River that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says sits near sacred burial ground. Concern for the pipeline’s development also includes the risk it could pose to the Indigenous peoples’ – and future generations’ – water supply.
Previous to this monumental declaration, federal officials had given the protestors until Monday, December 5th, to evacuate the campsite near the construction area. As three thousand veterans arrived at Standing Rock, it became clear that few had any intention of leaving.
The Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, said in a statement:
“The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.”
Darcy added that the decision was based on the need to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing. She said:
“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. The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
She added that an Environmental Impact Statement will need to be conducted with full public input and analysis.
Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, expressed gratitude to the Obama administration for following through to protect sacred land which the Standing Rock Sioux tribe believe is rightfully theirs due to an 1851 treaty. He shared gratitude for
“the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.”
Prior to this announcement, Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas – the company building the pipeline, said it was unwilling to reroute the project. Activists on the site are claiming that the gathering of water protectors at Standing Rock is proof that the people can triumph over corporate greed.
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