Juneau, AK (August 18, 2016) – Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s Executive Council unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. As stewards of the air, land, and sea, who have respect for nature and property, Central Council stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who have been peacefully protesting to protect their way of life, water, people and land.
"As we embark on our own battles over transboundary mining issues, we need to support our brothers and sisters across Indian Country so that we might be able to call on them to do the same for us in the spirit of the Idle No More movement,” said President Richard Peterson.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC has proposed to construct a 1,100 mile pipeline, with a capacity of 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day, to cross the Missouri river immediately above the mouth of the Cannonball River on the Standing Rock Reservation. Although the pipeline will not directly cross an environmentally protected area or federally reserved indigenous land, under current proposals it will pass within half a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and traverse 209 rivers and creeks. The drilling required for the construction of the pipeline would disturb burial grounds and sacred sites on ancestral treaty lands.
The Dakota Access Pipeline violates Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty which guarantees that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe shall enjoy the “undisturbed use and occupation” of their permanent homeland.
Central Council also calls upon the Army Corps of Engineers to reject the river crossing permit under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and the Secretary of Interior to fully exercise the trust responsibility and ensure that the federal government rejects the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Recent history demonstrates the danger oil and gas pipelines have had on downstream communities, fish, and wildlife. Between 2010-2015, 840,000 gallons of oil was released near Tioga, North Dakota; 51,000 gallons of oil was released into the Yellowstone River upstream from Glendive, Montana, resulting in the shutdown of the community water system for 6,000 residents; and 100,000 gallons of tar sand crude was released in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.