Protesters Leave Dakota Access Pipeline Area; Some Stay And Are Arrested
In an amicus brief filed in U.S. District Court earlier this month, the leadership of the 16 federally recognized Indian tribes located in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska — a group known as The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association — wrote in opposition to the pipeline.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, they argued, cannot be understood without considering the history of the federal government abusing tribal sovereignty:
“From this history, a pattern emerges wherein the United States consistently utilizes the legal narrative of the time to segregate, take from, and discriminate against Indian tribes. [The Dakota Access Pipeline] is simply the latest example of Native peoples of the Great Plains being subjected to varying legal standards and shifting political winds to justify the subordination of Indian treaty rights to non-Indian pecuniary interests.
”… In addition to the irreparable harm to the free exercise of Native religious beliefs … there is also irreparable harm in the form of historical trauma and psychological distress which stems from the consistent failure of the United States to live up to its obligations under its Treaties with Indian tribes generally, and under its Treaties with the Great Sioux Nation here specifically. Treaties matter.“