On January 31, two members of the U.S. Congress from North Dakota released statements saying that the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army directed the Army Corpsto notify Congress that it is granting the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Department of Justice has confirmed at this time, there has not yet been a formal issuance of the easement.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded with a statement affirming they will pursue legal action to ensure due process for the pending EIS.
Granting the easement now would illegally circumvent the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process and allow the company to begin drilling immediately. The EIS was ordered on December 4, 2016 by Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy. On January 17, the Army Corps filed a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to begin the scoping process for the study, for which a public comment period is currently open.
The Sacred Stone Camp has put out a call to action inviting all those who can to come stand with them.
The call comes as tens of thousands of people across Turtle Island are occupying airports and city buildings, in defiance of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’, taking to the streets and shutting down banks in response to Trump’s executive orders advancing construction of the Keystone XL and DAPL. It also follows one of the largest mobilizations of women this country has ever seen. Over 41 #NoDAPL actions across the globe are slated to take place over the next week.
LaDonna Bravebull Allard, Director of Sacred Stone Camp says: “We have been saying something very simple from the beginning- Water is Life. We must stand for life. We cannot let the basic essence of who we are be destroyed. We must stand, so we are asking the world to stand with us.”
Dallas Goldtooth, Campaign Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network, “The Trump administration seems hell-bent on returning to the times of the wild west frontier, where lawlessness reigned supreme and Indigenous Peoples and our rights were on the chopping block. By attempting to approve this easement, the administration’s actions reveal a blatant disregard for the rule of law and a clear interest in lining the pockets of Big Oil. Now he is working even harder to attack sovereign tribal nations and historic treaties. Come what may, we have drawn our line in the dirt, we are here to defend mother earth and our inherent rights as the first peoples of the land.”
Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director, Honor the Earth, says, “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has fully engaged in the deeply flawed process that has been stripped away to benefit the interests of big oil -- a process that is now essentially a rubber stamp in the Donald Trump administration. The courts have yet to issue an injunction to fully cease construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline while the tribe’s legal claims are heard. It has been non-violent direct actions, peaceful prayers, and the bravery of unarmed water protectors on the frontlines who have garnered the support of millions around the world. We stand with the Sacred Stone Camp, and with any willing to make a stand in this fight and in their own localities. Strong hearts to the front.”
Eryn Wise, International Indigenous Youth Council says, “We are responsible for the next 7 generations and it is up to us to see to it that there is a place for our children in the future. If you’re out there, we ask you to join us in the streets, in the banks as we continue our divestment campaign and on the frontlines of this fight."
Linda Black Elk, Ethnobotanist of the Medic Healer Council says, “We will continue to stand with Water Protectors locally and globally in the intersectional fight for our waters, our lands, and our people. The Medic Healer Council remains committed to protecting the protectors. We call on this administration to stop permitting and perpetuating this systemic violence against us and those who stand with us. We call on our relations to join us in our stand with the Water Protectors and against DAPL.”