Court Rejects Dakota Access Injunction, But Standing Rock Sioux Vow ‘This is Not The End’

by Nika Knight, originally published on Common Dreams.

A U.S. federal court of appeals ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe late Sunday evening and denied its request for an emergency injunction against the controversialDakota Access Pipeline.

“This fight is far from over.”
Tom Goldtooth,
Indigenous Environmental Network

“The ruling allows Energy Transfer Partners—the Dallas-based company funding the project—to move forward with construction of the pipeline on all privately owned land up to the Missouri River,” NBC notes. Construction was temporarilyhalted in late August while the case was considered by the court.

The ruling was handed down the evening before Columbus Day, which celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas—an event that heralded centuries of genocide, many Indigenous people have argued. A growing movement seeks to instate the holiday Indigenous Peoples’ Day in its stead.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has vowed to continue its battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the timing of the ruling helped prompt widespread calls for solidarity and support.

“This ruling puts 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River at serious risk,” saidDave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “And, already, the Dakota Access Pipeline has led to the desecration of our sacred sites when the company bulldozed over the burials of our Lakota and Dakota ancestors. This is not the end of this fight. We will continue to explore all lawful options to protect our people, our water, our land, and our sacred places.”

The original pipeline route crossed the Missouri River just north of Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota. The route was later shifted downstream, to the tribe’s doorstep, out of concerns for the city’s drinking water supply.”

As Native News Online explains: “The 1,168-mile pipeline crosses through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s ancestral lands and within a half mile of the reservation boundary. Construction crews have already destroyed and desecrated confirmed sacred and historic sites, including burials and cultural artifacts. The original pipeline route crossed the Missouri River just north of Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota. The route was later shifted downstream, to the tribe’s doorstep, out of concerns for the city’s drinking water supply.”

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