August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cheyenne River Chairman to Obama: Stop Pipeline from Poisoning our Children's Water

Photo by Waniya Locke

Army Corps of Engineers violated Treaty rights, failed to consult

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

CANNON BALL, N.D. -- Cheyenne River Chairman Harold Frazier sent a letter to President Obama today urging Obama to remember his promise to the Lakota people. Chairman Frazier points out the Army Corps of Engineers has ramrodded construction and permits through without the required consultation with Native American Tribes and has violated Treaty rights.

“You pledged to work with our Indian nations and tribes on a nation-to-nation basis to address the issues that matter to us every day.  You came to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, and quoted our great chief, Sitting Bull: “Let us put our minds together and see what we can do for our children.”  With all respect, we ask you to put your mind together with ours and see what we can do to protect our children’s lives and health from poison water.”
(Read full letter below.)
The Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux are sending buses of Lakotas to the blockade of the Dakota Access Pipeline construction, as the pipeline threatens the Missouri River and water source of the Lakotas. On Friday, Dustin Thompson, community members, confirmed burial places are in the vicinity of the pipeline crew.
Federal law protecting Native American burial places requires the work to halt.
On Friday, Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault and Councilman Dana Wasinzi were  arrested as they tried to protect their people from the heavily armed police and private security guards at the pipeline blockade. On Thursday, twelve people were arrested, including Dakota and Lakota women who were thrown around and arrested by police, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and Morton County Sheriff’s Deputies.
The Camp of the Sacred Stones is calling for more support and asking that peaceful protesters come today, Sunday, and bring camping gear, food, water and cooking supplies.
Although President Obama assured Native Americans that the tar sands pipeline through their lands had been halted, this new pipeline is part of a new pipeline system that goes all the way from the Alberta, Canada, tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The tar sands pipeline giant Enbridge in Calgary, along with Marathon, just bought into this new pipeline system, which includes Dakota Access Pipeline, and is now threatening land owners throughout the heart of the United States.


August 14, 2016
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20500

Hon. Sally Jewell, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior; Fax: 202-208-1821
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240


Dear President Obama and Secretary Jewell:

You pledged to work with our Indian nations and tribes on a nation-to-nation basis to address the issues that matter to us every day.  You came to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, and quoted our great chief, Sitting Bull: “Let us put our minds together and see what we can do for our children.”  With all respect, we ask you to put your mind together with ours and see what we can do to protect our children’s lives and health from poison water.
Here is a quote from a youth submitted on social media captioning a picture of your visit to the Standing Rock Reservation, “This was the day that you promised to protect our people! This was the day you told our youth you would do whatever it takes to protect their future! Fulfill your promises and help us protect our water!”
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,172 mile 30” diameter pipeline that will cross the Great Plains to transport 470,000 to 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day.  The DAPL is planned to cross the Missouri River above the confluence of the Cannonball River, a few steps from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.  DAPL threatens the safety and quality of our drinking water, and threatens to destroy the environment of our Sioux reservations along the Missouri River.
Under the 1868 Sioux Nation Treaty, the Oceti Sakowin of the Lakota, Nakota, Dakota Oyate or Great Sioux Nation reserved as our “permanent” home:  All the land from the Cannonball River in the North along the low water mark on the east bank of the Missouri River to the Nebraska Border and west to the Wyoming Border.  The Missouri River is wholly within our treaty territory, and over the years, the United States has asked us to cede hundreds of thousands of acres along the Missouri River within our homeland for flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Our Sioux Nation tribes use the Missouri River for our drinking water, we have treaty rights to hunt and fish, reserved rights to graze livestock along its banks, and it is our source of water for irrigating crops. Under our Treaty, we own reserved waters in the Missouri River.  Yet, the Army Corps turned its back upon our Sioux Nation tribes and plans to approve the DAPL to run oil under the Missouri River without consulting with our tribal governments.  Indeed, the Army Corps has not even consulted with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture who are our partners in our Missouri River tribal drinking water projects.  The Army Corps is violating our treaty rights, statutory rights, and your policy on sustainable Indian nations, President Obama.
We have seen the devastation wrought by oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP had build “fail safe” systems to run its oil platform.  BP’s systems failed catastrophically—despite their best planning.  We have seen government planners provide lead poisoned water to the residents of Flint, Michigan.  We have seen the EPA pour out poison mine waters into Colorado waters in the name of “clean-up,” only to poison Navajo Nation waters downstream.  
As the Lakota say, Mni Wiconi—“water is life.” The Army Corps must not risk our children’s lives with the dangerous DAPL project without even conducting an Environmental Impact Statement!
Among our Sioux Nation tribes, we sacrificed to protect American cities downstream on the Missouri River from flooding—sacrificed our sacred oak trees, our wildlife, our best river bottom lands, our very homes for flood control.  Do not let the Army Corps of Engineers sacrifice our people again.
President Obama, Secretary Jewell we call upon you to honor our treaty and trust responsibility, and help us protect our Missouri River, our drinking water, and our source of life from the DAPL and its danger of life threatening oil spills.  

Stop the Army Corps’ intended approval of the DAPL.

Harold Frazier, Chairman
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

CC:  Hon. Larry Roberts, Assistant Sec’y—Indian Affairs (Acting)
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.   20240

Cheyenne River sending buses of Lakotas to resistance 'No Dakota Access Pipeline'

Camp of Sacred Stones Photo Waniya Locke, Cannon Ball, N.D., Sat. Aug. 13, 2016

Standing Rock Chairman Arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade

Breaking News: Burial places in vicinity of pipeline crew. Standing Rock Chairman and Councilman arrested at blockade. Oglala sending 300 Lakotas from Pine Ridge to blockade.

Photo courtesy No Dakota Access
Photo by Jon Eagle Sr.

Photo by Jon Eagle Sr.
"There are many sacred sites and on any day they can potentially hit human remains," Dustin Thompson, Standing Rock Tribal Cultural Specialist said late Friday.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Updated Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016

CANNON BALL, North Dakota -- Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II and Councilman Dana Yellow Fat were arrested today at the blockade of the Dakota Access Pipeline, on Standing Rock Indian land in North Dakota at Cannon Ball.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol and Morton County Sheriff's deputies arrested the Standing Rock Chairman and Councilman today and 12 others yesterday -- including Dakota and Lakota women, who were thrown around by police and arrested, as they defended their sacred land and sacred water of the Missouri River.
Burial places near pipeline confirmed
On Friday afternoon, the pipeline crew halted digging after burrowing into a cultural site with the potential for human remains.
Dustin Thompson with
LaDonna Allard and her husband Miles.
Dustin Thompson, community member, said there are burial places in the immediate area of the pipeline crew.
"There are many sacred sites and on any day they can potentially hit human remains," Thompson told Censored News late Friday.
"Cannonball Ranch is Treaty land," Thompson said. Thompson said the people must make a stand for the sake of the children.
"What will we tell our children, as men, if we don't stand up."
"The Dakota Access Pipeline project runs through unceded territory of the Lakota people. Many parcels of land are still owned by Native Americans."
"We must stand together to fight corporate interests that will destroy the land and water for profit. The installation of this pipeline will cause permanent damage to the ecology of the land disturbed."
"Poisonous chemicals are bound to leak out of this pipeline that will cause high rates of cancer in the people and animals downstream of this project," Thompson said.
Federal law requires work to halt
Yvonne Swan, Colville Nation, responded and pointed out that federal law requires the work to halt.

Arrests of Standing Rock Councilman
Dana Wasinzi; Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle;
Chairman Dave Archambault
Photo Shauna M. Long

Swan said, "All destructive construction work should be stopped. Sacred sites should be protected under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota have the spiritual mandate, the God-given right, to take care of their land and life. Prayers for our relatives are going up."
Dakota Access pipeline plans to drill under the Missouri River for this crude oil pipeline and endanger the river water sources of Native Americans of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers.
The Oyate Media Network reports that the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and council just announced its support to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is sending buses of Lakotas from Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
“The Oglala are sending 300 Lakota on buses and a caravan to go and support them in their efforts to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline will be built under the Missouri River and the Mississippi River. It not only affects the Lakota Dakota Nakota nations but everybody who use the fresh water for daily life.”
Pipeline system includes dirty crude oil from Alberta, Canada
The path of destruction is just beginning of the Dakota Access Pipeline. People were told that the tarsands pipeline had been halted -- and celebrated President Obama's action -- but this new pipeline system is part of a scheme to deceive people. This is just another tarsands pipeline. Look at the paths and transfer stations.

The maps reveal two paths through the heart of the country -- landowners, water and land would be destroyed in a vast region, from North Dakota and beyond. This means that land will be seized by the pipeline in Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, and more.

This scheme was no doubt in the works a long time before it was made public. The Army Corps of Engineers approved 60 river crossings in Iowa alone.

How long was President Obama aware of this scheme?

The pipeline system stretches up to Alberta, Canada, and will transport the dirty tarsands crude oil that Native Americans and landowners have been fighting for years.

Enbridge and Marathon just announced in August that they bought into the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline work began in Cannon Ball this week. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation's case has not yet been heard in court.

Dakota and Lakota share power of this land

LaDonna Bravebull Allard, Lakota, Dakota, land owner said, "The place where pipeline will cross on the Cannonball is the place where the Mandan came into the world after the great flood, it is also a place where the Mandan had their Okipa, or Sundance. Later this is where Wisespirit and Tatanka Ohitika held sundances. There are numerous old Mandan, Cheyenne, and Arikara villages located in this area and burial sites. This is also where the sacred medicine rock is located, which tells the future.”
Avis Little Eagle of Standing Rock pointed out the media is uninformed of the facts about treaties and refuses to inform people that pipelines leak. Little Eagle is Hunkpapa Lakota woman, former Vice Chairwoman of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and current publisher of The Teton Times Newspaper.
“I read one of the news stories in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and the reporter kept saying that the water protectors were outside reservation boundaries -- like ‘go back to the reservation’ Indians. That is one of the reasons Native America must write their own stories."
"The water protectors are standing their ground in 1868 Treaty Territory, which if the reporter knew their U. S. Constitution, is supreme law, above and before the Congress and the U. S. Courts. And as for the Army Corps, they are also ignoring treaty and Winters Doctrine Rights of the Lakota/Dakota Oyate who are protecting the Missouri River from a $3 billion dollar pipeline that will run 470,000 gallons of crude Bakken oil a day across the Mni Sose," Little Eagle said.
“It's not if it will leak but when, and there are 12 million people downriver that also rely on that river for drinking water, not to mention the wildlife that rely on the river. So I'm proud of and praying for our people, humble and pitiful as they are for taking on Big oil when every card in the deck is stacked against them. History will show they made the right choice. But sadly it will be after the river is contaminated and drinking water is fouled and wildlife and fish and the winged nation start dying from the contamination. Then the oil company will pack it's bags and move on and the U.S. EPA will cry that it doesn't have the money to clean up the river. So yes, stand strong Oyate.”
Tipiziwin Tolman, Standing Rock, said, “Standing Rock is my home. I grew up where the Missouri meets the Porcupine Creek. We are Hunkpapha Lakota and Wiciyena Dakota. We are Sitting Bull's people among many others. We are the people who have always lived along the Missouri river, on both banks. Our history is tied to this water, our identity is tied to this water. We come from this water. We were never displaced, this is where Creator put us. This water and this land recognizes our language and our prayers. This water, like all water gives us life and we all need water to live. This pipeline and all the oil fracking is pure poison. Please come to Standing Rock's northern border and stand to protect this pipeline from being built underneath our water, directly above our water intake where our drinking water comes from. When you turn on a faucet today, think of our people and what we are standing for. Calling for all Oceti Sakowin, all nations, to come stand together, come to the northern border of Standing Rock and stand for the future, be a witness for the water, and for the world.”
Jon Eagle, Sr. said, “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by resolution claim all stone features, stone cairns and stone effigies within the aboriginal homelands of the Oceti Sakowin. Wherever the buffalo roamed our ancestors left evidence of their existence and connection to everything in the universe. There is a prophecy among our people that told us one day man was going to go too far and when that time came the animal nations were going to show their sacred color. The birth of the white buffalo in Jamestown, North Dakota was a sign that we were in that time of prophecy. The Dakota Access Pipeline is crossing the aboriginal homelands of the Oceti Sakonwin and is destroying sites of religious and cultural significance to the tribes. DAPL will have an adverse effect on the land, the air and the water. Now is the time to go back to our sacred places and pray.”

Today Rosebud Sioux Tribal Chairman William Kindle sent an official letter of solidarity and support to Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault, urging the people to battle this pipeline that threatens religious and cultural places of the Great Sioux Nations.
The Crow Creek Sioux Nation passed a resolution on Aug. 11 in full support of Standing Rock's blockade of the pipeline, pointing out that the pipeline and ultimate breaks in the crude oil pipeline will endanger the water sources of Dakota and Lakota Nations.

Yesterday, the Crow Creek Chairman began his journey to the frontline in support.

"On behalf of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Council and Tribe, I Brandon J. Sazue Sr., Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Chairman am on my way to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to offer our support in the opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline! We will stand with you my relatives. Whether we are Native, White, African American, etc., our water is our most precious resource along with our children. We must all stand together in this most urgent of times. This is not about race, but about the human race!"
"'What we do today will make a difference tomorrow!'
"If there was ever a time to stand United, that time is now!"

Cheyenne River Sioux Vice Chairman Ryman LeBeau encouraged those at the blockade today.
"Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has been against DAPL since December 2015. Hand delivered this resolution to Army Corp col. Henderson demanding consultation on DAPL project.. Now we filed as interveners in SRST suit, against Army Corp for not consulting and because water is life, water is scared to us. Keep the prayers Up. Blehiciya po!" LeBeau said.
Flandreau Santee Sioux hand delivered their resolution of support to the Camp of Sacred Stones.Jon Eagle, Sr., said, "The Oceti Sakonwin are united. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribal chairman and a delegation of Dakota showed up today to support their Lakota relatives. Yesterday the Crow Creek Tribal chairman showed up along with our Oglala relatives. Every band is now represented in defense of our nation. Wopila tanka icici yelo."
The Seneca Nation also passed a resolution of support.Dakota and Lakota youths ran from Standing Rock in North Dakota to the White House, over 1,500 miles, and protested on Saturday, urging President Obama to halt this pipeline. The youths protested again in New York City before returning home to join the blockade on their homelands.

VIDEO of Chairman Archambault's arrrest at:

No portion of this article may be republished without permission or used for commercial or profit making purposes. copyright

Also see: Mother Jones: Dakota Access Pipeline just received permission and quickly began digging in a matter of months: Mother Jones: "Now, in a matter of months, America's newest mega-pipeline—the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL)—has quietly received full regulatory permission to begin construction."

Support from Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Support from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe hereby expresses it's strong support of the effort to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect the water and environment that all Great Plains Tribes depend on; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Committee supports the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in it's efforts against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its unlawful and unintelligible approval of permits for the Pipeline in 2012 which violates the Clean Water Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, the National Historic preservation Act, and the National Environment Policy Act; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Committee calls upon the Secretary of Interior to uphold the trust responsibilities of the United States of America and take all action necessary to prohibit the construction of the pipeline; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Executive Committee asks that law enforcement and Attorney General of North Dakota dismiss all pending actions against protesters who are acting passionately to protect their lands and their children's future; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Executive Committee demands that President Barack Obama respects his commitment to Indian Country, and takes every action necessary to protect the water of the Oceti Sakonwin.

Protest to End Police Violence: Today in Flagstaff, Arizona

Protest to End Police Violence in Flagstaff Today

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- In response to ongoing police violence and racial profiling, Flagstaff community members will hold a protest today at 4pm at the County Courthouse lawn (corner of Birch Ave and San Francisco St.). According to the Guardian's The Counted database, Arizona is #4 in police killings so far in 2016, behind California, Texas, and Florida. 27 people have been killed by police in Arizona in 2016 so far, 6 of those shot were Native American. That accounts for nearly half of all police killings of Native Americans in the US.
654 people killed in US by cops so far 2016.
According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice "The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans."

Join us as we stand in solidarity to end racial profiling and police violence in all our communities. #nativejusticenow #blacklivesmatter

Sunday, August 14th @ 4pm
Downtown Flagstaff, Arizona
Meet at the County Courthouse lawn. (corner of Birch Ave and San Francisco St.)

OWE AKU: Standing Rock Support: Stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline

Strong Hearts to the Front
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Support for the Standing Rock Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline

See Brenda Norrell's article at Censored News

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Camp of Sacred Stones: Resistance on the Water Sat., Aug. 20, 2016

ALL BOATS ON DECK!!!!   The Camp of the Sacred Stones calls ALL canoeists, kayaktivists, paddlers, and water warriors to bring their boats and courage and join us on the Missouri River on Saturday, August 20th.  Resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline is blossoming and hundreds are coming from all 4 directions to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to defend the land and water.  Please stand with us on the front lines!   This pipeline threatens the longest river on Turtle Island and the drinking water of many millions of people.   

Please come to camp a day or two early to prepare, and be ready to camp.   Bring boats, paddles, life jackets, banners, prayers, and open minds and hearts.   The company is pushing construction of the pipeline aggressively, despite pending lawsuits filed by multiple Dakota and Lakota tribes.   Permits were rubber stamped in violation of federal laws and treaties, without any tribal consultation or meaningful environmental review.   It's up to the people to stop construction until the lawsuits can be heard.  

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