Chairman Dave Archambault II continues to perpetuate several flawed statements about the Dakota Access Pipeline. His most recent example can be found in his statement following yesterday’s U.S. Court of Appeals hearing.
According to Archambault:
“Millions of people across the country and world, more than 300 federally-recognized tribes, members of Congress and dozens of city governments across the country stand with the SRST in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We stand together in peaceful prayer and solidarity because this pipeline threatens the lives of the more than 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River for their water. This pipeline has already destroyed the burial places of our Lakota and Dakota ancestors. If construction continues, our people stand to lose even more of our sacred places and cultural objects.
The Obama administration and all federal agencies have a trust responsibility to uphold the treaty rights of the SRST. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline without consulting with our tribe. The approval of this pipeline by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a violation of our treaty rights and we will not stop fighting until our lands, people, water and sacred places are permanently protected.”
There are several claims being made this short statement.
- “We stand together in peaceful prayer”
The protests have been well-documented as being far from peaceful. In fact, pipeline workers, community members, and local law enforcement officials have all expressed extreme concern about the protest’s permanency.
- “This pipeline has already destroyed the burial places”
The review process conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers, a ruling from Judge Boasberg, and a State Historical Society of North Dakota survey all determined that there is no tangible evidence of culturally sensitive sites in the construction corridor.
- “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline without consulting with our tribe”
Judge Boasberg agrees:
“In fact, on this record, it appears that the Corps exceeded its NHPA obligations at many of the PCN sites. For example, in response to the Tribe’s concerns about burial sites at the James River crossing, the Corps verified that cultural resources indeed were present and instructed Dakota Access to move the pipeline to avoid them. Dakota Access did so.”