LINKS
2017-11-30 / Front Page

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Affiffirms Opposition to TransCanada’s KXL Pipeline

VI WALN
TIMES CORRESPONDENT

ROSEBUD – The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has affirmed their opposition to any additional construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through a public statement issued by President William Kindle.

The statement was released on November 20 after the Nebraska Public Services Commission approved TransCanada’s permit for the massive tar sands pipeline to cross their state. The PSC did place a condition on the permit requiring TransCanada to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline. The reroute will significantly increase the costs to construct the pipeline, which will transport a mixture of tar sand oil and chemicals to a refinery.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe did establish a Spirit Camp near the Ideal Community in March 2014. The Keystone XL pipeline is slated to cross land adjacent to tribal trust land located in Tripp County. The camp has sat idle since former President Obama denied a presidential permit which would have allowed TransCanada to construct the KXL pipeline across an international border. This action was overturned soon after President Donald Trump was elected.

The entirety of President Kindle’s statement can be read in the following paragraphs.

“Greetings My Friends and Relatives, Cante wasteya nape ciyuzapelo (I take your hand in friendship). As President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, I am writing you today regarding a very important issue that effects our Tribe but also all of you as well. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe – also known as the Sicangu Lakota Oyate – is one of the seven tribes that make up the Oceti Sakowin (the Council First of the Lakota People). We are and always have been a free and sovereign nation.

“In 2014, TransCanada, Inc., a company that develops and builds oil delivery pipelines, announced that they would contract a pipeline from the Tar Sands Fields in Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, and then on to Texas. The pipeline’s path would go directly through traditional land that was guaranteed to the Tribe and the Great Sioux Nation in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 and Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. The pipeline would endanger the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies water to millions of citizens, both Natives and non-Natives, who live in that area, and will damage or destroy Sicangu sacred and burial sites. President Obama agreed with the concerns expressed by others and us, and ultimately refused to grant TransCanada the necessary permits to allow the construction to be completed. The election of President Trump changed all of that. TransCanada, through Trump’s Presidential memorandum, has now been given a presidential permit to cross the international border between Canada and the US.

“The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has an obligation to protect the health and wellbeing of the Tribe’s members and to make sure that the United States fulfills its trust obligations to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. To that end, the tribe has retained the services of the Native American Rights Fund to assist the Tribe, the make sure that those public agencies – Federal, State and Tribal – honor our treaties and respect tribal sovereignty as well as our right to free, prior and informed consent. The pipeline has leaked in South Dakota, and any further leak could have devastating consequences, not only for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, but also for the rest of the Oceti Sakowin and our Native and Non-native neighbors.

“Officials from the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Company last week announced a leak of 210,00 gallons of oil leaded in Marshall County, South Dakota, an area adjacent to the tribal lands of the Sisseton- Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. TransCanada has not allowed Sisseton tribal officials access to the spill site to assess any potential or actual damage to tribal land and resources. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe supports the efforts of the Sisseton- Wahpeton Sioux Tribe to assess the potential damage to the water and environment and to protect tribal lands form contamination of drinking water.

“Nebraska regulators have made a decision to authorize the construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline today in spite of the events and massive oil spill in South Dakota. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe publicly opposes the Nebraska Public Utilities Commission decision based upon treaties, federal and tribal law protecting our natural and historic resources, and the State’s decision to approve pipeline construction in our treaty territory without consulting Tribal nations or obtaining tribal consent.

“The Oceti Sakowin and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe have lived up to our obligations under the 1851 and 1868 Treaties of Fort Laramie. The land, water, tribal sovereignty and governmental services were not “given” to us in those treaties, they were bargained for with the blood of our ancestors. We will not dishonor our relatives and unnecessarily endanger our health, safety and wellbeing. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will take any and all necessary steps, up to and including litigation, to protect our people, our land and water, and our cultural and historic resources.

“Hecetu yelo. (That’s how it is). Please contact me if you have any further questions. Sincerely, William “Willie” Kindle, President, Rosebud Sioux Tribe.”

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