Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Pipeline Uncertainty Illustrates Broader Concerns for Tribes

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The Oceti Sakowin camp is seen in a snow storm during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 29, 2016.

By Associated Press | December 25th 2016

For hundreds of protesters, it was cause to cheer when the Obama administration this month declined to issue an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline’s final segment. But that elation was dampened by the uncertainty of what comes next: a Donald Trump-led White House that might be far less attuned to issues affecting Native Americans.

“With Trump coming into office, you just can’t celebrate,” said Laundi Germaine Keepseagle, who is 28 and from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where the demonstrators have been camped out near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

Anxiety over the 1,200-mile pipeline illustrates a broader uncertainty over how tribes will fare under Trump following what many in Indian Country consider a landmark eight years.

President Barack Obama has won accolades among Native Americans for breaking through a gridlock of inaction on tribal issues and for putting a spotlight on their concerns with yearly meetings with tribal leaders.

Under his administration, lawmakers cemented a tribal health care law that includes more preventive care and mental health resources and addresses recruiting and retaining physicians throughout Indian Country.

The Interior Department restored tribal homelands by placing more than 500,000 acres under tribes’ control — more than any other recent administration — while the Justice Department charted a process approved by Congress for tribes to prosecute and sentence more cases involving non-Native Americans who assault Native American women. Before Obama, a gap in the laws allowed for such crimes to go unpunished.

In addition, the federal government settled decades-old lawsuits involving Native Americans, including class-action cases over the government’s mismanagement of royalties for oil, gas, timber and grazing leases and its discrimination against tribal members seeking farm loans.

“In my opinion, President Obama has been the greatest president in dealing with Native Americans,” said Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Tribe north of Seattle and president of the nonpartisan National Congress of American Indians, based in Washington, D.C. “The last eight years give us hope going forward with the relationships we have on both sides of the aisle.”

Trump, meanwhile, rarely acknowledged Native Americans during his campaign and hasn’t publicly outlined how he would improve or manage the United States’ longstanding relationships with tribes.

His Interior secretary pick, Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, sponsored legislation that he says would have given tribes more control over coal and other fossil fuel development on their lands.

But some of Trump’s biggest campaign pledges — including repealing health care legislation and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — would collide with tribal interests.

In Arizona, Tohono O’odham Nation leaders have vowed to oppose any plans for a wall along the 75-mile portion of the border that runs parallel to their reservation. And the non-profit National Indian Health Board in Washington says it’s aiming to work with lawmakers to ensure the Indian Health Care Improvement Act remains intact.

The law, which guarantees funding for care through the federal Indian Health Services agency, was embedded in Obama’s health care overhaul after consultation with tribes.

The government’s role figures prominently in Native Americans’ daily lives because treaties and other binding agreements often require the U.S. to manage tribal health care, law enforcement and education.

Some tribal members say they’re unsure how much Trump understands or cares about their unique relationship with the federal government.

“I think there was a great hope that we had here in Indian Country with the direct dialogue that President Obama had established with tribal nations,” said Duane “Chili” Yazzie, president of the Navajo Nation’s Shiprock Chapter. “If a similar effort to communicate with us were carried on by the Trump administration, I would be surprised.”

Though most reservations lean Democratic in presidential elections, Trump does have some supporters in Indian Country. They hope the businessman can turn around lagging economies in rural reservations, such as the 27,000-square-mile Navajo Nation, which covers parts of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

“Trump is pro-job growth, and tribes need a healthy dose of business creation,” said Deswood Tome, a former spokesman for the tribe from Window Rock, Arizona. “To do that, a lot of federal barriers must be removed. We’re the only ethnic group who have so much federal control in our lives.”

The Dakota Access pipeline illustrates another chasm between Obama and Trump.

This fall, the pipeline dispute led Obama’s administration to begin tackling a final piece of its Indian Country agenda: guidelines for how cabinet departments should consult with tribes on major infrastructure projects.

A top complaint from the Standing Rock Sioux was that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to properly consult with them before initially approving a pipeline route that ran beneath Lake Oahe, the tribe’s primary source of drinking water.

After the administration halted construction on the project in September to review the complaint, it held seven meetings with tribal leaders and began drafting a report on how federal officials should consult with tribes.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the report will be completed before Obama leaves office, and she expects it to have a lasting impact, even with an incoming administration that promises to undo some of the president’s policies.

What’s unclear is whether Trump, who once owned stock in the pipeline builder, will seek to reverse the Army’s decision this month to explore alternate routes.

A spokesman said only that the president-elect plans to review the move after he takes office. However, Trump’s transition team said in a recent memo to campaign supporters and congressional staff that he supports the pipeline’s completion.

In the meantime, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault has begun lobbying for a meeting with Trump to make a case for his tribe’s opposition to the project, which the chairman says threatens not just water but sacred cultural sites.

“You have to respect Mother Earth; she’s precious,” Archambault said. “You can still believe in capitalism, and you can still invest in infrastructure projects, but these infrastructure projects should be focused toward renewable energy rather than fossil fuel development.”

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Associated Press writers Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Regina Garcia Cano in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contributed to this report.

Mary Hudetz, The Associated Press

[SOURCE]

Trudeau Calls Trans Mountain, Line 3 Approvals Major Win, Ready to Work with Trump on Keystone XL

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary on Wednesday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary on Wednesday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Alberta’s climate change ‘leadership’ paved way for pipeline approvals, says Justin Trudeau

Staff | CBC News: Dec 21, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it was the Alberta government’s leadership role in tackling climate change that allowed him to approve two major pipeline projects.

He said that without the carbon tax introduced by NDP Premier Rachel Notley, Ottawa would not have been able to justify green-lighting the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 project.

“The fact that we are able to move forward on approving two significant, important pipeline projects for Alberta was directly linked to the leadership this Alberta government has shown … around the impacts of climate change,” he told reporters in Calgary.

The prime minister spoke earlier in the day at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce year-end breakfast.

Trudeau said opposition parties in Alberta that have vowed to scrap the carbon tax — which comes into effect Jan. 1 — don’t understand the new political dynamics at work.

Trudeau speaks to Arlene Dickinson at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce event. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Trudeau speaks to Arlene Dickinson at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce event. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

He said putting a price on carbon and capping carbon dioxide emissions from the oilsands are necessary measures for Canada to move ahead with big projects such as pipelines, while still protecting the environment.

“Quite frankly, the fact that there are a number of opposition politicians out there who bizarrely seem to be crossing their fingers that these pipelines will not get built under this current government, I think, is really dismaying, and should be dismaying for Albertans,” he said.

Trudeau said his predecessor, Stephen Harper, who claimed to be a champion for Alberta’s energy sector, was unable to deliver on pipeline approvals because he, too, refused to accept that getting energy resources to market in the 21st century requires responsible leadership on the environment.

Keystone back on agenda

During a question and answer session following his speech at the chamber, Trudeau said he supports a renewed push to get the Keystone XL pipeline built, a project U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has vowed to approve shortly after he takes office.

Trudeau told the business audience that he and Trump discussed Keystone in their first conversation after the U.S. election.

“He actually brought up Keystone XL and indicated that he was very supportive of it,” Trudeau said during a question-and-answer session after his speech.

“I will work with the new administration when it gets sworn in … I’m confident that the right decisions will be taken.”

The 830,000 barrel per day pipeline would carry oilsands crude from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest. It was rejected by the Obama administration last year.

Trump has previously said he would approve the pipeline but wanted a “better deal” for the United States.

Trudeau said if the United States takes a step back on fighting climate change under Trump, Canada will capitalize.

Climate change is a fact and fighting it is where the rest of the world is going, he said.

And while there might be short-term benefit in ignoring it now, he said, if Canada sticks to its plan, the country will be attractive to investors who are looking decades down the road.

Pipelines safer than rail, PM says

Trudeau said moving crude oil via pipeline is safer for the environment and more economical than moving it by rail.

Almost all of Canada’s oil is currently exported to the U.S. Pipelines that carry oil from Canada are at capacity, so a lot of it is going by rail. Canadian oil also faces a significant discount in U.S. Midwest refineries because it’s heavier and more expensive to refine than light crude.

Alberta’s premier could find herself at odds with both Trudeau and Trump on the issue of Keystone, said Duane Bratt, who teaches policy studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

“She hasn’t said a word, one way or the other, about Keystone, since the American election. And she had always been opposed to it,” he said.

“It was easy to be opposed to it when you saw that Obama was about to get rid of it.”

Calgary on Ottawa’s mind

Trudeau said his government’s decision to green-light Trans Mountain and Line 3 shows that Calgary is top of mind in Ottawa under his leadership.

“What happens in Calgary is important. It’s important to Alberta and all of Canada,” he said.

“And as I said in making the announcement, these approvals are a major win for Canadian workers, for Canadian families and for the Canadian economy.”

Trudeau said the projects will create upward of 22,000 jobs and demonstrate to Canada and the world that responsible resource development can happen in concert with solid environmental protections.

“That way of thinking, that we have to choose between growing the economy and protecting the environment, simply doesn’t work,” he said.

Cheers from business crowd

Speaking ahead of Trudeau’s address, Calgary Chamber of Commerce president Adam Legge drew a round of applause from the business crowd as he praised the Liberal government for approving Line 3 and Trans Mountain in the face of stiff opposition from environmentalists.

“We thank you for your leadership and your courage in that decision,” he said.

“Getting more resources to market was a critical missing element of our national infrastructure. We are all buoyed by this decision and are ready to get to work.”

Tyrone Cattleman, a member of the local plumbing and pipefitting union who came to hear the prime minister speak, said he’s optimistic about the new pipeline projects.

“I really hope he goes through with those plans, to create more jobs for the younger generation,” he said.

[SOURCE]

U.S. Military Veterans at Standing Rock to Mobilize to Flint for Water Crisis

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By Red Power Media, Staff | Dec 06, 2016

The battle may be over for U.S. veterans supporting the Dakota Access pipeline opposition near Standing Rock, North Dakota, but they say their fight isn’t finished and they have a new destination — Flint, Michigan, where the crisis over the city’s contaminated water is still raging.

A few days after veterans started to arrive at the Oceti Sakowin camp amid frigid cold to support Native Americans protesting against the oil pipeline project, the Army Corps of Engineers denied on Dec. 4, a permit to build the uncompleted stretch of pipeline set to run under Lake Oahe.

RELATED:

On Monday, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Chairman Dave Archambault II, asked protesters to return home after the federal government ruled against the controversial pipeline, despite the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump reversing the decision after he takes office.

Thousands of environmental activists and supporters joined the Tribe’s fight against the 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access pipeline costing $3.8 billion.

USUncut.com reports, Wes Clark Jr., who organized a force of over 4,000 U.S. military veterans to mobilize for Standing Rock, said he’s planning a similar mobilization to help the people of Flint.

Flint resident Arthur Woodson, who is a veteran and a supporter of the Standing Rock protesters, said the veterans coming to Flint may help revive media attention on the community’s plight of tainted drinking water, and that the renewed public pressure could bring about an effective solution.

“All the media attention that was there brought more attention to Standing Rock. The government had a change of heart,” Woodson told the Journal.

U.S. military veterans arrive at Standing Rock to help battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

U.S. military veterans arrive at Standing Rock to help Native Americans in their battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

According to Fusion.net, Clark was on hand at Standing Rock this weekend when protesters received news that the Army Corps of Engineers had denied an easement necessary for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline along its current route—effectively, albeit temporarily, halting the project. Joining him there were thousands of vets who had traveled to Standing Rock, including several from Flint, who saw their participation in the NoDAPL protests as part of the larger struggle they have experienced in their hometown over the past year.

In a statement celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also linked the struggles at Standing Rock with those faced by the residents of Flint:

“Water is life; we cannot survive without it. Whether it’s the threat to essential water sources in this region, lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, the potential threat posed to our water by the Red Hill fuel storage facility on Oʻahu, or the many other threats to our water across our nation, we must act now to protect our precious water for current and future generations to come.

In Flint, drinking water was contaminated by lead seeping through pipes in 2014. City officials denied the leakage problem for months, causing a serious problem, NPR reported. High blood lead levels ensued as Flint residents drank the water, which was particularly harmful to children and pregnant women, causing learning disabilities in developing brains.

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President Obama declared a state of emergency earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the situation in Flint did not qualify for a major disaster declaration and was deemed a man-made disaster.

It is unclear when, and how, the veterans organized by Clark will make the trip to Flint.  

Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Respond to the Statement from the Department of the Army

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco committed to ensure Dakota Access Pipeline completion

  • Energy transfer partners and sunoco logistics partners respond to the statement from the department of the army
  • The administration’s statement that it would not issue an “easement” to dakota access pipeline is a political action
  • Fully expect to complete construction of pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around lake oahe

Business Wire | December 04, 2016, | 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL) announced that the Administration’s statement today that it would not at this time issue an “easement” to Dakota Access Pipeline is a purely political action – which the Administration concedes when it states it has made a “policy decision” – Washington code for a political decision. This is nothing new from this Administration, since over the last four months the Administration has demonstrated by its action and inaction that it intended to delay a decision in this matter until President Obama is out of office.

For more than three years now, Dakota Access Pipeline has done nothing but play by the rules. The Army Corps of Engineers agrees, and has said so publicly and in federal court filings. The Corps’ review process and its decisions have been ratified by two federal courts. The Army Corps confirmed this again today when it stated its “policy decision” does “not alter the Army’s position that the Corps’ prior reviews and actions have comported with legal requirements.”

In spite of consistently stating at every turn that the permit for the crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe granted in July 2016, comported with all legal requirements, including the use of an environmental assessment, rather than an environmental impact statement, the Army Corps now seeks to engage in additional review and analysis of alternative locations for the pipeline.

The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.

As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.

View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161204005090/en/

Army Corps Won’t Grant Easement for Final Section of Dakota Access Pipeline to Explore Alternate Routes

Native American self-styled water protectors celebrate at the Oceti Sakowin camp as news breaks that Dakota Access Pipeline construction has been halted. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Native American self-styled water protectors celebrate at the Oceti Sakowin camp as news breaks that Dakota Access Pipeline construction has been halted. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Pipeline opponents celebrate as governor calls move “a serious mistake.”

By Red Power Media, Staff | Dec 04, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided it won’t grant an easement for construction on the final section of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Energy Transfer Partners $3.8 billion underground oil pipeline project is largely complete except for the segment underneath Lake Oahe.

The Army Corps decision is a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of demonstrators across the country who flocked to North Dakota in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The route has been the subject of months of protests by the tribe and others, who have argued the pipeline threatens a water source and cultural sites.

According to Star Tribune, Corps spokeswoman Moria Kelley said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.

Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said her decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement that the Corps’ decision “is a serious mistake,” “prolongs the serious problems” that law enforcement faces and “prolongs the dangerous situation” of people camping in cold, snowy conditions.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners previously said it was unwilling to reroute the project.

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

“Our prayers have been answered,” National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby said in a statement. “This isn’t over, but it is enormously good news. All tribal peoples have prayed from the beginning for a peaceful solution, and this puts us back on track.”

The Army Corps says it intends to issue an Environmental Impact Statement with “full public input and analysis.”

“Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline,” tribal Chairman, David Archambault II said in a statement. “Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternatives routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.”

Archambault II said the tribe welcomed the decision, but he also sounded a note of caution saying he hoped the incoming Donald Trump administration would “respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point.”

Archambault II went on:

“When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes. Treaties are paramount law and must be respected, and we welcome dialogue on how to continue to honor that moving forward. We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development, or national security concerns but we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our Indigenous peoples.”

NBC News reports, North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer says that the Army Corps’ decision not to grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline is “a very chilling signal” for the future of infrastructure in the U.S.

Cramer said in a statement that infrastructure will be hard to build “when criminal behavior is rewarded this way,” apparently referring to the large protest encampment on federal land and the clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement. Cramer also said that “law and order” will be restored when Donald Trump takes office and that he feels bad for the Corps having to do “diligent work … only to have their Commander-in-Chief throw them under the bus.”

The federal government has ordered people to leave the main encampment, which is on Army Corps’ land, after Monday.

RELATED:

Demonstrators say they’re prepared to stay, and authorities say they won’t forcibly remove them.

Earlier Sunday, an organizer with Veterans Stand for Standing Rock said tribal elders had asked the military veterans not to have confrontations with law enforcement officials, adding the group is there to help out those who’ve dug in against the project.

The group had said about 2,000 veterans were coming, but it wasn’t clear how many actually arrived.

Both the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation occupy much of the western shoreline of Lake Oahe.

Trump’s Stock In Dakota Access Pipeline Raises Concerns

rt-dakota-access-pipeline-protest-1-jt-161124_16x9_608 Al Jazeera| Nov 25, 2016

Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owns stock in the company building the disputed oil pipeline.

President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and opponents of the project warn those investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8bn project as president.

Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

That’s down from between $500,000 and $1m a year earlier.

Trump also owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of Dakota Access.

While Trump’s stake in the pipeline company is modest compared with his other assets, ethics experts say it is among dozens of potential conflicts that could be resolved by placing his investments in a blind trust, a step Trump has resisted.

“Trump’s investments in the pipeline business threaten to undercut faith in this process – which was already frayed – by interjecting his own financial wellbeing into a much bigger decision,” Sharon Buccino, director of environment group Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Associated Press news agency.

Concern about Trump’s possible conflicts comes as protests over the pipeline have intensified in recent weeks, with total arrests since August rising to 528.

A clash this past week near the main protest camp in North Dakota left a police officer and several protesters injured.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Orlando Cruz, a Native American protester, said the pipeline symbolises the subjugation of his people by the government for centuries.

“They took our land from us. They said, ‘Here, this is yours, here’s a reservation, you can do what you want on it.’ And we are here in the reservation now, and we don’t get to do what we want with it. And they get to put their pipeline through it,” he said.

‘Pay-to-play at its rawest’

The Obama administration said this month that it wants more consideration and tribal input before deciding whether to allow the partially built pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

The 1,200-mile pipeline would carry oil across four states to a shipping point in Illinois.

The project has been held up while the Army Corps of Engineers consults with the Standing Rock Sioux, who believe the project could harm the tribe’s drinking water and Native American cultural sites.

The delay raises the likelihood that a final decision will be made by Trump, a pipeline supporter who has vowed to “unleash” unfettered production of oil and gas. He takes office in January.

Trump, a billionaire who has never held public office, holds ownership stakes in more than 500 companies worldwide.

He has said that he plans to transfer control of his company to three of his adult children, but ethics experts have said conflicts could engulf the new administration if Trump does not liquidate his business holdings.

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, the senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, called Trump’s investment in the pipeline company “disturbing” and said it fits a pattern evident in Trump’s transition team.

“You have climate [change] deniers, industry lobbyists and energy conglomerates involved in that process,” Grijalva said. “The pipeline companies are gleeful. This is pay-to-play at its rawest.”

Besides Trump, at least two possible candidates for energy secretary in his incoming administration also could benefit financially from the pipeline.

Source: Al Jazeera News and Agencies

 

Donald Trump Invested In Company Behind Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, Records Show

Donald Trump comes on stage at a rally at Pier Park Amphitheater in Panama City Beach, Florida, Oct. 11, 2016.

Donald Trump comes on stage at a rally at Pier Park Amphitheater in Panama City Beach, Florida, Oct. 11, 2016.

By Catherine Thorbecke | Oct 12, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has invested up to $1 million in the energy assets company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, according to financial records he was required to disclose prior to running for office.

According to his Public Financial Disclosure Report, Trump has investments worth between $500,000 and $1 million in Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, whose subsidiary, Dakota Access, is building the four-state crude oil pipeline.

On the form, filed in 2015, he reported making between $15,000 and $50,000 in interest, dividends and capital gains from his investment.

The exact figures of how much Trump has invested in Energy Transfer remains unclear, as the presidential nominee has so far refused to release his taxes, breaking from an election tradition that dates back decades.

Representatives for Energy Transfer Partners and the Trump Campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for further comment today.

The four-state, 1,172-mile, Dakota Access Pipeline has courted controversy for months from Native American groups and environmental activists.

Earlier this summer, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe sued to block construction of the pipeline, arguing that it traversed culturally sacred sites and posed a threat to their reservation’s water supply.

Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren wrote that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded,” and that “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.”

ap_dakota_pipeline_12x5_1600

PHOTO: A person with a hand drum paces between law enforcement officers and a line protesters at construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The battle to block the pipeline has garnered national attention and sparked one of the biggest Native American movements in decades, with hundreds still camped out in protest near the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation in North Dakota.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that construction of the pipeline could continue near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation in North Dakota, but shortly after the ruling, three federal agencies (the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, and Department of the Army) intervened with an unprecedented joint statement requesting “that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.”

Earlier this week, a federal appeals court denied the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s appeal for an injunction to block construction of the crude oil pipeline, but the tribe vowed to continue their fight against the pipeline.

Source: ABC News

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Donald Trump, Pocahontas And The Cree Woman Who Stood Up And Spoke Out

Calgary blogger Nicole Robertson shouted out an objection when Donald Trump referred to a U.S. Senator as Pocahontas at a media scrum in North Dakota on Thursday. (@sarahmccammon/Twitter)

Calgary blogger Nicole Robertson shouted out an objection when Donald Trump referred to a U.S. Senator as Pocahontas at a media scrum in North Dakota. (@sarahmccammon/Twitter)

Find out what happened when Cree reporter Nicole Roberston came face to face with Trump

CBC, Unreserved, July 10, 2016

Before a rally in Bismarck, N.D., Donald Trump was speaking to the media. When asked a question about U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who identifies as part Native American, Trump responded by referring to Warren as “Pocahontas”.

Media consultant Nicole Robertson, a Cree woman based in Calgary, was the only person in the audience to challenge him.

Pocahontas is well known as one of the Disney princesses. The animated tale of her life portrays her saving the life of Englishman John Smith. In reality, she died in 1617 after being taken to England.

The problem with Pocahontas

Charges of whitewashing the colonial history of the United States are common. But there is also an issue with how Pocahontas is represented.

“Historically, that name has been used in a very sexualized manner,” Robertson said.

Given the rates of violence against Indigenous women, throwing the name Pocahontas out in a dismissive manner didn’t sit well with Robertson. And while she is happy she spoke out, looking back, she wishes she’d done more.

“I should have called it for what it was — racist.”