Tag Archives: Native Americans

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as 'water protectors' continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

US Veterans Return to Standing Rock to Protect Native Americans Protesting Dakota Access Pipeline

Photo: Veterans Stand For Standing Rock/Facebook

Photo: Veterans Stand For Standing Rock/Facebook

By Black Powder | RPM Staff, Feb 12, 2017

US veterans are returning to Standing Rock to support and protect Native Americans still protesting the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline.

In January, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders to continue the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

According to The Guardian, Veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river.

It is unclear how many vets may arrive to Standing Rock; some organizers estimate a few dozen are on their way, while other activists are pledging that hundreds could show up in the coming weeks.

In December, thousands of veterans descended on Standing Rock to form a “human shield” between increasingly aggressive police and “water protector” protesters.

RELATED:

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as 'water protectors' continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as ‘water protectors’ continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

But the presence of vets was not without controversy. Some said the groups were disorganized and unprepared to camp in harsh winter conditions, and others lamented that they weren’t following the directions of the Native Americans leading the movement.

Vets with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffered in the cold and chaotic environment without proper support, said Matthew Crane, a US navy veteran who is helping coordinate a return group from VeteransRespond.

His group has vowed to be self-sufficient and help the activists, who call themselves “water protectors”, with a wide range of services, including cleanup efforts, kitchen duties, medical support and, if needed, protection from police.

“This is a humanitarian issue,” said Crane, 33. “We’re not going to stand by and let anybody get hurt.”

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been asking protesters to leave the reservation since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to do an environmental review in December. This month, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent law enforcement to remove protesters, tribal leaders clarified that did not want anyone arrested or removed by force.

RT reports, the Tribe has vowed to fight the president’s order to push ahead with the Dakota Access pipeline despite the US Army Corps of Engineers stating it would cancel its planned environmental impact study and grant a permit for construction of the final phase of the pipeline project being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

According to the U.S. veterans who have headed back to Standing Rock (some who didn’t make it in December), they are there to protect the few hundred remaining, largely Native American, protesters from further attacks by police.

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” Air Force veteran Elizabeth Williams told the Guardian. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”

At Standing Rock, indigenous activists say mass arrests and police violence have led some water protectors to develop PTSD, suffering symptoms that many US veterans understand well.

Police have deployed water cannons, rubber bullets and teargas at water protectors. Private security has used dogs to attack Native American demonstrators. Hundreds of water protectors have been arrested.

Video: VeteransRespond: Road To Standing Rock

The opening of the fight at Wounded Knee illustration

Remembering the Wounded Knee Massacre – Dec 29, 1890

The opening of the fight at Wounded Knee illustration

The opening of the fight at Wounded Knee illustration

Red Power Media | Dec 29, 2016

On December 29, 1890, the massacre of Sioux warriors, women and children along Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota marked the final chapter in the long war between the United States and the Native American tribes indigenous to the Great Plains.

For the entirety of his 27 years, Black Elk’s somber eyes had watched as the way of life for his fellow Lakota Sioux withered on the Great Plains. The medicine man had witnessed a generation of broken treaties and shattered dreams. He had watched as the white men “came in like a river” after gold was discovered in the Dakota Territory’s Black Hills in 1874, and he had been there two years later when Custer and his men were annihilated at Little Big Horn.

Black Elk (left) and Elk of the Ogala Lakota touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. (Credit: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

Black Elk (left) and Elk of the Ogala Lakota touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. (Credit: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

He had seen the Lakota’s traditional hunting grounds evaporate as white men decimated the native buffalo population. The Lakota, who once roamed as free as the bison on the Great Plains, were now mostly confined to government reservations.

Life for the Sioux had become as bleak as the weather that gripped the snow-dusted prairies of South Dakota in the winter of 1890. A glimmer of hope, however, had begun to arise with the new Ghost Dance spiritual movement, which preached that Native Americans had been confined to reservations because they had angered the gods by abandoning their traditional customs. Leaders promised that the buffalo would return, relatives would be resurrected and the white man would be cast away if the Native Americans performed a ritual “ghost dance.”

As the movement began to spread, white settlers grew increasingly alarmed and feared it as a prelude to an armed uprising. “Indians are dancing in the snow and are wild and crazy,” telegrammed a frightened government agent stationed on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation to the commissioner of Indian affairs on November 15, 1890.

General Nelson Miles

General Nelson Miles

“We need protection and we need it now.” General Nelson Miles arrived on the prairie with 5,000 troops as part of the Seventh Cavalry, Custer’s old command, and ordered the arrest of several Sioux leaders.

When on December 15, 1890, Indian police tried to arrest Chief Sitting Bull, who was mistakenly believed to have been joining the Ghost Dancers, the noted Sioux leader was killed in the melee. On December 28, the cavalry caught up with Chief Big Foot, who was leading a band of upwards of 350 people to join Chief Red Cloud, near the banks of Wounded Knee Creek, which winds through the prairies and badlands of southwest South Dakota. The American forces arrested Big Foot—too ill with pneumonia to sit up, let alone walk—and positioned their Hotchkiss guns on a rise overlooking the Lakota camp.

As a bugle blared the following morning—December 29—American soldiers mounted their horses and surrounded the Native American camp. A medicine man who started to perform the ghost dance cried out, “Do not fear but let your hearts be strong. Many soldiers are about us and have many bullets, but I am assured their bullets cannot penetrate us.” He implored the heavens to scatter the soldiers like the dust he threw into the air.

The cavalry, however, went teepee to teepee seizing axes, rifles and other weapons. As the soldiers attempted to confiscate a weapon they spotted under the blanket of a deaf man who could not hear their orders, a gunshot suddenly rang out. It was not clear which side shot first, but within seconds the American soldiers launched a hail of bullets from rifles, revolvers and rapid-fire Hotchkiss guns into the teepees. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Lakota offered meek resistance.

Big Foot, leader of the Sioux, lying in the snow where he was killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Big Foot, leader of the Sioux, lying in the snow where he was killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Big Foot was shot where he lay on the ground. Boys who only moments before were playing leapfrog were mowed down. In just a matter of minutes, at least 150 Sioux (some historians put the number at twice as high) were killed along with 25 American soldiers. Nearly half the victims were women and children.

The dead were carried to the nearby Episcopal church and laid in two rows underneath festive wreaths and other Christmas decorations. Days later a burial party arrived, dug a pit and dumped in the frozen bodies. For decades, survivors of the massacre lobbied in vain for compensation, while the U.S. Army awarded 20 Medals of Honor to members of the Seventh Cavalry for their roles in the bloodbath.

Bodies of Lakota Sioux at Big Foot’s camp following the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Bodies of Lakota Sioux at Big Foot’s camp following the Wounded Knee Massacre.

When Black Elk closed his wizened eyes in 1931, he could still envision the horror. “When I look back now from this high hill of my old age,” he told writer John G. Neihardt for his 1932 book “Black Elk Speaks,” “I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there.”

It was not the last time blood flowed next to Wounded Knee Creek. In February 1973 activists with the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the site for 71 days to protest the U.S. government’s mistreatment of Native Americans. The standoff resulted in the deaths of two Native Americans.

[SOURCE]

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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.”

___

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]

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Sitting Bull Killed by Indian Police – Dec 15, 1890

Sitting Bull by Kenneth Ferguson

Sitting Bull by Kenneth Ferguson

Red Power Media | Dec 15, 2016

After many years of successfully resisting white efforts to destroy him and the Sioux people, the great Sioux chief and holy man Sitting Bull is killed by Indian police at the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota.

One of the most famous Native Americans of the 19th century, Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) was a fierce enemy of Anglo-Americans from a young age. Deeply devoted to the traditional ways, Sitting Bull believed that contact with non-Indians undermined the strength and identity of the Sioux and would lead to their ultimate decline. However, Sitting Bull’s tactics were generally more defensive than aggressive, especially as he grew older and became a Sioux leader. Fundamentally, Sitting Bull and those associated with his tribe wished only to be left alone to pursue their traditional ways, but the Anglo settlers’ growing interest in the land and the resulting confinement of Indians to government-controlled reservations inevitably led to conflicts. Sitting Bull’s refusal to follow an 1875 order to bring his people to the Sioux reservation directly led to the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn, during which the Sioux and Cheyenne wiped out five troops of Custer’s 7th Cavalry.

After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull and his followers fled to Canada for four years. Faced with mass starvation among his people, Sitting Bull finally returned to the United States and surrendered in 1883. Sitting Bull was assigned to the Standing Rock reservation in present-day South Dakota, where he maintained considerable power despite the best efforts of the Indian bureau agents to undermine his influence. When the apocalyptic spiritual revival movement known as the Ghost Dance began to grow in popularity among the Sioux in 1890, Indian agents feared it might lead to an Indian uprising. Wrongly believing that Sitting Bull was the driving force behind the Ghost Dance, agent James McLaughlin sent Indian police to arrest the chief at his small cabin on the Grand River.

The Indian police rousted the naked chief from his bed at 6:00 in the morning, hoping to spirit him away before his guards and neighbors knew what had happened. When the fifty-nine-year-old chief refused to go quietly, a crowd gathered and a few hotheaded young men threatened the Indian police. Someone fired a shot that hit one of the Indian police; they retaliated by shooting Sitting Bull in the chest and head. The great chief was killed instantly. Before the ensuing gunfight ended, twelve other Indians were dead and three were wounded.

The man who had nobly resisted the encroachment of whites and their culture for nearly three decades was buried in a far corner of the post cemetery at Fort Yates. Two weeks later, the army brutally suppressed the Ghost Dance movement with the massacre of a band of Sioux at Wounded Knee, the final act in the long and tragic history of the American war against the Plains Indians.

[SOURCE]

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as 'water protectors' continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Standing Rock Chairman Asks Protesters to Disband, Trump to Review Pipeline Decision

Veterans gather for a briefing inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Veterans gather for a briefing inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Reuters | Dec 5, 2016

A Native American leader asked thousands of protesters to return home after the federal government ruled against a controversial pipeline, despite the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump reversing the decision after he takes office.

A coalition of Native American groups, environmentalists, Hollywood stars and veterans of the U.S. armed forces protested the $3.8 billion oil project. They said construction would damage sacred lands and any leaks could pollute the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The tribe still wants to speak with Trump about the Dakota Access Pipeline to prevent him from approving the final phase of construction, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault told Reuters.

“The current administration did the right thing and we need to educate the incoming administration and help them understand the right decision was made,” he said.Trump’s transition team said on Monday it would review the decision to delay completion once he takes office Jan. 20.

“That’s something that we support construction of and we’ll review the full situation when we’re in the White House and make the appropriate determination at that time,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said at a transition team news briefing.

 

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as 'water protectors' continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as ‘water protectors’ continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Archambault said nothing would happen over the winter before Trump takes power, so protesters should leave. Many had dug in for the harsh winter of the North Dakota plains, where a blizzard hit on Monday and 40 miles-per-hour (64 kmh) winds rattled tipis and tents.

“We’re thankful for everyone who joined this cause and stood with us,” he said. “The people who are supporting us … they can return home and enjoy this winter with their families. Same with law enforcement. I am asking them to go.”

It was unclear if protesters would heed Archambault’s call to leave the Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

SHORT-LIVED VICTORY

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected an application for the pipeline to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

The Army Corps said it would analyze possible alternate routes, although any other route is likely to cross the Missouri River.

The camp celebrated the decision, but some expressed concern their victory could be short-lived.

“I think this is just a rest,” Charlotte Bad Cob, 30, of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, said on Sunday. “With a new government it could turn and we could be at it again.”

On Monday, tribal leaders and hundreds of veterans walked to Backwater Bridge, one of the focal points of the protests, and offered prayers and chanted after the victory.

Several veterans said they had no plans to leave and suspected Sunday’s decision was a ruse to empty the camp.

Veterans listen to Arvol Looking Horse during a healing ceremony hosted by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Veterans listen to Arvol Looking Horse during a healing ceremony hosted by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

The company building the 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, said late on Sunday that it had no plans to reroute the line, and expected to complete the project.

The Obama administration’s decision was a “political action”, ETP said in a joint statement on Sunday with its partner Sunoco Logistics Partners.

The pipeline is complete except for a 1-mile (1.61 km)segment that was to run under Lake Oahe, which required permission from federal authorities.

The chief executive of ETP, Kelcy Warren, donated to Trump’s campaign, while the president-elect has investments in ETP and Phillips 66, another partner in the project.

As of Trump’s mid-2016 financial disclosure form, his stake in ETP was between $15,000 and $50,000, down from between $500,000 and $1 million in mid-2015. He had between $100,000 and $250,000 in shares of Phillips, according to federal forms.

(Writing by David Gaffen and Simon Webb; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Alan Crosby)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13T0QX

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock

U.S. Veterans to Form Human Shield at Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock

By Terray Sylvester | Cannon Ball N.D

More than 2,000 U.S. military veterans plan to form a human shield to protect protesters of a pipeline project near a Native American reservation in North Dakota, organizers said, just ahead of a federal deadline for activists to leave the camp they have been occupying.

It comes as North Dakota law enforcement backed away from a previous plan to cut off supplies to the camp – an idea quickly abandoned after an outcry and with law enforcement’s treatment of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters increasingly under the microscope.

The protesters have spent months rallying against plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying it poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites.

Protesters include various Native American tribes as well as environmentalists and even actors including Shailene Woodley.

State officials issued an order on Monday for activists to vacate the Oceti Sakowin camp, located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, citing harsh weather conditions.

The state’s latest decision not to stop cars entering the protest site indicated local officials will not actively enforce Monday’s emergency order to evacuate the camp issued by Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Dalrymple warned on Wednesday that it was “probably not feasible” to reroute the pipeline, but said he had requested a meeting with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council to rebuild a relationship.

“We need to begin now to talk about how we are going to return to a peaceful relationship,” he said on a conference call.

The 1,172-mile (1,885 km) pipeline project, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP.N), is mostly complete, except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, a contingent of more than 2,000 U.S. military veterans, intends to go to North Dakota by this weekend and form a human wall in front of police, protest organizers said on a Facebook page. Organizers could not immediately be reached for comment.

“I figured this was more important than anything else I could be doing,” Guy Dull Knife, 69, a Vietnam War Army veteran, told Reuters at the main camp.

Dull Knife, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, said he has been camping at the protest site for months.

Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rob Keller said in an email his agency was aware of the veterans’ plans, but would not comment further on how law enforcement will deal with demonstrators.

Former U.S. Marine Michael A. Wood Jr is leading the effort along with Wesley Clark Jr, a writer whose father is retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii and a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, has said on Twitter she will join the protesters on Sunday.

The Army Corps, citing safety concerns, has ordered the evacuation of the primary protest camp by Dec. 5, but said it would not forcibly remove people from the land.

Local law enforcement said on Tuesday they planned a blockade of the camp, but local and state officials later retreated, saying they would only check vehicles for certain prohibited supplies like propane, and possibly issue fines.

Dalrymple on Wednesday said state officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters and there had been no plans to block food or other supplies from the camp. “That would be a huge mistake from a humanitarian standpoint,” he said on the conference call.

He also warned protesters that while emergency responders will try to reach anyone in need, that would be contingent on weather conditions.

Protesters, who refer to themselves as “water protectors,” have been gearing up for the winter while they await the Army Corps decision on whether to allow Energy Transfer Partners to tunnel under the river. That decision has been delayed twice by the Army Corps.

(Additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Houston and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Matthew Lewis)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13P2C8

Protesters block a highway during a protest in Mandan against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, U.S. November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

US Army Corps: Those Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline Will Not Be Forcibly Removed

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Protesters block a highway during a protest in Mandan against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, U.S. November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Army Corps seeking peaceful transition to free speech zone

By Red Power Media, Staff | Nov 28, 2016

Water protectors protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota vowed Saturday to remain in their camp after the US Army Corps of Engineers told them to leave the federal land they’ve occupied.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday, Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters seeking to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, but both the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they have no plans for “forcible removal” of the protesters.

The Army Corps provided an update Sunday, on their plans to close off their land involved in protests against the Energy Transfer Partners LP, pipeline project.

According to Aljazeera, the Army Corps which manages the government land where the main camp protesting the Dakota Access pipeline is located, said last week it would close public access to the area on Dec 5.

RELATED:

On Sunday, the Army Corps said it had no plans to “forcibly remove” anyone who remains, though a statement said that to do so was risky. The statement said anyone who remained would be considered unauthorized and could be subject to various citations.

Although the order said people who defy it could face legal consequences, officials said Monday the state also would not seek to forcibly remove people.

Citing increased violence between water protectors and law enforcement and the increasingly harsh winter conditions, on Friday the Army Corps said it decided to close its land to the protesters who have been there since early April.

The Corps, has established a free speech zone on land south of the Cannonball River and is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to the safer location.

This transition is also necessary to protect the general public from the dangerous confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement officials which have occurred near this area. “Unfortunately, it is apparent that more dangerous groups have joined this protest and are provoking conflict in spite of the public pleas from Tribal leaders. We are working to transition those engaged in peaceful protest from this area and enable law enforcement authorities to address violent or illegal acts as appropriate to protect public safety,” said Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson.

Free Speech Area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

Free Speech Area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

The Army Corps, asked the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, in a letter to tell members of his tribe, along with supporters there, to move to a free speech zone, — which is slightly more than 41 acres and provides clearer jurisdiction for police, fire and medical units.

MPR News reports, Oceti Sakowin is on federal land, but according to treaties cited by tribal leaders, the land and the rivers belonged to the Sioux Tribe.

Archambault II and other protest organizers made it clear that they planned to stay in the Oceti Sakowin camp — one of three camps near the pipeline construction site.

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Nick Tilsen with the Indigenous Peoples Power Project, pictured here on Nov. 26, 2016, says Native Americans are not going to move out of Oceti Sakowin Camp “unless it’s on our own terms because this is our treaty land.” Doualy Xaykaothao | MPR News

As news of the Army Corps’ intention to shut down the camp spread over the weekend, people like environmental activist Nick Tilsen expressed renewed resolve.

“Indigenous people are here to stay,” he said.

Tribal elders call the Standing Rock protest movement a spiritual war and rebirth for Native Americans everywhere.

An Oglala Sioux member from South Dakota, told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We have every right to be here to protect our land and to protect our water.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, believe the Dakota Access pipeline could contaminate their water source, the Missouri River, and desecrate the tribe’s sacred sites.

Mike Vosburg / The Forum

Obama Exploring ‘Ways To Reroute’ Dakota Access Pipeline Amid Protests

Mike Vosburg / The Forum

Mike Vosburg / The Forum

The Washington Times, Nov 1, 2016

President Obama said Tuesday that the federal government is looking for ways to reroute the Dakota Access pipeline project, which has been paralyzed by weeks of demonstrations by environmentalists.

In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, Mr. Obama seemed to side with occupiers who want the pipeline rerouted or scrapped outright, citing opposition by Indian groups.

“We’re monitoring this closely, and you know I think that as a general rule my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans,” Mr. Obama told MSNBC.

Local authorities have pleaded for help in dealing with thousands of demonstrators who’ve also invaded private lands, prompting more than 100 arrests last week and at least one potentially deadly gun attack against cops.

But Mr. Obama indicated that the federal government has no intention of stepping in, despite the threat to federal lands.

“We’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and then determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to traditions of the first Americans,” he said.

Standing Rock:

How A Tiny Campout Grew Into A Global Movement And Why It’s Coming To Canada Next

Tyler Fourth, a Standing Rock Sioux, dances while working a checkpoint at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND on Friday, September 9, 2016. Fourth is cautiously optimistic about the situation but has no intention of leaving yet, saying "it's not over till it's over."

Tyler Fourth, a Standing Rock Sioux, dances while working a checkpoint at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND on Friday, September 9, 2016. Fourth is cautiously optimistic about the situation but has no intention of leaving yet, saying “it’s not over till it’s over.”

‘Spirit camps’ the future of anti-pipeline protests

Article by Richard Warnica | The National Post

The caravan rumbled east on a back road in rural North Dakota, pickup trucks and hippie vans inching through the grey-green hills, searching for a passage through the shifting blockade. Overhead, a helicopter circled. Police trucks whipped by on the ground.

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The Water Protectors of the Oceti Sakowin, Red Warrior and Sacred Stone spirit camps, near Cannon Ball, ND, set out that day to shut down construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a US$3.8-billion project that aims to connect the Bakken oil fields with a transport hub near Patoka, Illinois. If completed, Dakota Access could handle some 570,000 barrels of oil per day. That’s nearly half of North Dakota’s entire daily production. But though much of the pipe is already in the ground, the project itself—like Keystone XL before it—is in jeopardy.

While the world watches as their movement is live-streamed on social media, indigenous protesters have banded together with major environmental groups like the Sierra Club and 350.org to fight Dakota Access. For now, they’ve battled the pipeline’s owners — including Canada’s Enbridge Inc. — to a standstill. Protesters have confronted construction teams on pipeline sites near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, south of Bismarck. Lawyers for the tribe have tied the project up in litigation and campers are now clashing with police.

On Thursday, police in riot gear used sound cannons, bean bag guns and pepper spray to drive protesters from a camp on private land directly in the pipeline’s path. The hours-long confrontation, watched live on Facebook by tens of thousands of viewers, was the most heated yet of the increasingly prominent occupation. More than 140 people were arrested, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s office. Several cars were set on fire. Despite the setback, the protesters have vowed to carry on. “We won’t step down from this fight,” Dave Archambault II, one of the organizers, said in a statement Thursday night.

Protestors march to a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline to express their opposition to the pipeline, at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's to protest against the construction of the new oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016.

Protestors march to a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline to express their opposition to the pipeline, at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s to protest against the construction of the new oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016.

The protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline are in many ways an outgrowth of the ones fought against Keystone XL. But they are also something bigger and something new. The camps that have sprung up in the Plains south of Bismarck have drawn what some are calling the largest gathering of Native American tribes in history. Thousands of people, from what organizers say is more than 200 tribes, have come from all over the United States — and some from much further — to join the occupation. Hundreds have vowed not to leave until they win.

One organizer has called this moment the beginning of a new Native Civil Rights Movement. Whatever is happening here, organizers are hoping it will spread. They want Standing Rock to become the new normal on pipeline sites — in the United States, and in Canada too.

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation begins 40 minutes south of Bismarck in a hilly stretch of the Great Plains where actual tumbleweeds still blow across the roads. The protest camps straddle the reservation’s northern border. Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the three camps, sits in a hollow between two hills on the banks of the Cannonball River. From the highway it appears as if from nowhere—a riot of colour in a sea of yellowing grass.

The camps have drawn as many 8,000 people at a time, according to organizers. But the pipeline protests started modestly. In fact, according to Jonathan Edwards, they all began with a video game.

Edwards lives in McLaughlin, SD, the largest town on the Standing Rock reservation. Last December, he was hanging out with friends, “and we were playing Call of Duty or something, and somebody was scrolling through Facebook and saw a small little article about the (pipeline).”

By that point, plans for Dakota Access were in their final stages and construction was nearly underway. The pipeline is a catch-up of sorts. Oil production in North Dakota has exploded in the last 13 years, from fewer than 30 million barrels a year in 2003 to more than 429 million barrels in 2015. But the infrastructure didn’t keep up. For years, more than half the crude oil leaving North Dakota has moved by rail. Dakota Access, owned by a consortium of energy companies, including Enbridge and Energy Transfer Partners out of Texas, was supposed to solve that problem.

The pipeline company held public hearings in North Dakota starting in May 2015. But Edwards said he had never heard of the project before reading about it last December. He was shocked to discover that if completed the pipeline would cross under Lake Oahe, on the Missouri river, just a few kilometres outside the Standing Rock border. “So we did a little research about it, found out it’s an actual thing, and just basically started organizing a few local people to see what we could possibly do to … defeat it.”

Law enforcement officers line the street in front of the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan, N.D., as Dakota Access Pipeline protesters stand on the opposite side of the street on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Law enforcement officers line the street in front of the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan, N.D., as Dakota Access Pipeline protesters stand on the opposite side of the street on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Indigenous opponents of Dakota Access have two broad complaints. One is that the pipeline crosses through traditional tribal territory, home to sacred sites. The other is that, by passing under the Missouri River, the pipeline would put the tribe’s water supply at risk. The protest’s main slogan, whispered among supporters like a benediction, is “Water is life.”

Edwards and his friends were well positioned to make a stink. His uncle Vernon runs the local radio station. His sister Honorata works for the local newspaper. But in the early going, interest was paltry. “Not a lot of people showed up at the local meetings,” he said. That began to change after his sister reached out to Joye Braun, an activist from a nearby reserve who played a significant role in the fight against Keystone XL.

Braun, in her words, “heard the call” from Standing Rock in late January. The grassroots of the tribe, she said, felt they weren’t getting enough information about the project. “So we sold a bunch of cinnamon rolls and got gas money and all headed up here to Standing Rock to see what we could do.”

At a meeting in late February, Braun pitched the idea of a ‘spirit camp’ — a hub for prayer and action that could serve as a focal point for opponents of the pipeline. Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, who now runs the Standing Rock tribal historic preservation office, offered a chunk of land that directly abuts the nearest pipeline site, to the campers. And on April 1, Braun and her cousin Wiyaka Eagleman pitched their tents and the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp was born.

There are several theories on how that tiny campout of two people grew into the large occupation it is today. Ruth Hopkins, a columnist for Indian Country Today, thinks coverage in Native media contributed, as did a series of protest runs—including one from Cannon Ball to Washington D.C.—put on by local youth.

By the summer, several large environmental groups helped “amplify” the message, according to Josh Nelson, campaign manager for Credo Action. The movement gained celebrity support, including from actress Shailene Woodley (who was arrested while protesting in North Dakota in October) and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The camps grew steadily through the summer. The original Sacred Stone Camp on Allard’s land eventually sprouted two shadow camps on land owned by the Army Core of Engineers outside the reservation. But they only truly mushroomed in September. The major reason for that influx, organizers believe, was a violent clash between protesters and private guards that went viral online.

Journalist Amy Goodman, left, speaks with supporters in Mandan, North Dakota before learning the rioting charge filed against her was dismissed by a SouthCentral district judge Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Journalist Amy Goodman, left, speaks with supporters in Mandan, North Dakota before learning the rioting charge filed against her was dismissed by a SouthCentral district judge Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

On Sept. 3, Ladonna Allard was speaking to a journalist when her phone rang. “Amy Goodman (from Democracy Now) was sitting in the camp interviewing me…when they called me and said ‘Ladonna! The bulldozers are here’,” Allard said. Dakota Access crews were digging up a pipeline site on a ranch just north of the reserve. “I said ‘I’m on my way. And I hung up my phone and Amy said ‘I’m following you.’ ”

Cody Hall, a spokesman for the Red Warrior camp, was also there that day. “We had one of the elder ladies come driving by,” he said. “She saw the bulldozers. She yelled, ‘We need everybody to come out! The bulldozers are on sacred land!’ So, the campers scrambled onto horses and into cars and raced up the highway.”

What happened next was captured on film and posted online from multiple angles, but it remains nonetheless the subject of bitter dispute. Protesters from the camps confronted the workers, first from outside the fence, with shouts like “Criminals!” and “Go get your money somewhere else.” Eventually, they surged through the wire and came face to face with a team of private security guards.

After everything was over that day, the Morton County Sheriff’s office released a statement decrying the protest as an “unlawful … riot.” The sheriff said guards were attacked with wooden posts and flagpoles, and a dog was trampled by a horse. The protesters maintain the guards attacked them, and they were sprayed with some kind of caustic chemical. Hall said dogs bit about 12 people. One worker threw a demonstrator to the ground.

Regardless, the footage — of snarling dogs straining toward men and women with their hands in the air — provided a defining visual for the growing camp. “What I saw was (like) the images of America from the 1950s and 1960s, where they used dogs on black people,” said Hall. “It threw me right back to that time in history.”

Wulff Cole, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, in Oregon, drove 25 hours to join the camp because of that footage. “When I first heard about that I said, ‘I have to be there or I’ll never forgive myself.’” Organizers say that after the confrontation with the dogs, the camps ballooned in size.

By mid-October, Oceti Sakowin looked like a cross between a summer camp and a music festival. White tipis shared space with green army tents and flags in a cavalcade of shades. There were converted buses, port-a-potties, a legal clinic, horse paddocks and campfires. Near the central hub, heaps of donated clothes sat near stacks of wood and supplies of rice, beans and other staples.

“The first night I was here, I sat at the fire, listened (to the speeches) came back to my tent and I cried all night,” said Lavina Lawrence, who has been living at the camp for more than six weeks. “It’s just…the love of the people, the healing, the energy, is just so strong. It’s overwhelming.”

Organizers of the Standing Rock movement insist the camp and the protests are peaceful. Not everyone agrees. One judge in a civil suit filed by Dakota Access wrote in a recent ruling that “to suggest all of the protest activities to date have been ‘peaceful’ and law-abiding defies common sense and reality.”

In the communities surrounding the camps, meanwhile, there’s a sense of fear. Several people said they were afraid to speak on the record because they feared retaliation from the camps. One woman said her friends were organizing a class on concealed weapons for those intimidated by the protesters. Santana Hettich, who lives nearby, actually spent several weeks at the camp this summer, but she said she wouldn’t go back now. “I supported it…I wanted to stand with them because I’m Native American,” she said. “Now I just think there are too many people there for the wrong reasons.”

Camp organizers blame those fears on local media and local police.

Members of the Pikuni Blackfeet Nation march into Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND

Members of the Pikuni Blackfeet Nation march into Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND

The sheriff’s office did not return a request for comment. But in recent press conferences the sheriff and other county officials have defended their officers as “incredibly professional and unbelievably restrained.”

What is clear is that it wouldn’t take much—from either side—for something truly awful to happen here. The police are heavily armed and overworked; sheriffs have been called in from all over North Dakota, and now eight other states, to bolster the Morton County crew. “I think the whole county is on edge,” said Jeremy Stenerson, who lives in nearby Flasher. “Emotions are escalating and I think that just increases the chances of an accidental trigger pull or some silly accident that sets it all off.”

Last Saturday, protesters slipped from the camps, up the highway and into the fields where the pipeline will go. They popped the tires on a pickup truck then used bike locks and chains to attach themselves to the vehicle, hoping to block the construction path. A few hours later, hundreds more demonstrators marched up the highway and into the fields where they met a line of officers armed with pepper spray and other weapons.

Marching with the protesters that day was Kabale Niquay, a member of the Atikamekw Nation in Quebec. Niquay drove down to Standing Rock from Manawan, northwest of Quebec City, in mid-September. His Facebook page is full now of photos from inside the camps and at the demonstrations. In one, he poses in a camouflage jacket, a bandana pulled over his face. “A good day,” he wrote in French, “to go the front.”

Niquay said he came to support this protest in solidarity with the local Dakota and Lakota people. “All nations are rising up,” he said. But he’s also hoping to drum up support for a spirit camp of his own next summer, in Quebec, in opposition to the Energy East pipeline.

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Riders of all ages gather on the hilltop at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball

Riders of all ages gather on the hilltop at Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball

Niquay isn’t the only Canadian to have joined the Standing Rock protests. Cars with Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta plates are littered throughout the Oceti Sakowin camp. Others, meanwhile, have noticed from afar. Jonathan Edwards spoke recently with a First Nations group in British Columbia. They were looking for advice, he said, on setting up their own anti-pipeline camps.

Edwards hopes this does launch something larger, all across North America. But he hasn’t lost site of his original goal. “I know what my role is here, which is to do whatever I have to do to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Vicky Granado, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners, said the plan is still to have the pipeline ready for service by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the company has always maintained that it did everything right here. Dakota Access obtained all necessary easements and rights of way, its lawyers wrote in one court filing, it obtained all federal, state and local permits to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, and it conducted extensive consultations with affected tribes.

Despite that, the federal government still ordered a temporary halt to pipeline construction within two miles of Lake Oahe in September. That moratorium remains in place, for now.

As for the campers, some have vowed to stay through the winter, if necessary. Last Saturday, police arrested more than 120 protesters after a day of heated clashes that saw several people pepper sprayed. The next morning, the campers pushed out again, moving out in the pink dawn to set up a new camp on private land, directly in the pipeline’s path.

The company vowed in a statement that trespassers who refused to leave would be removed — and on Thursday they made good on their promise.

The protesters are unbowed. “I don’t think they really understood who the people are descended from who they’re trying to lay this pipeline through,” said Edwards. “I mean my mother’s last name was Shoots The Enemy. She’s deceased now. But I don’t think she got that name weaving baskets.”

The original version of this article titled This is the future of pipeline protests: How a tiny campout grew into a global movement and why it’s coming to Canada next, by Richard Warnica was published in The National Post on October 26, 2016, [READ HERE] 

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CEO: Economic Opportunities For Native Americans Could Help Dakota Access Pipeline Impasse

Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, waits to give his speech against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline during the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, waits to give his speech against the Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access oil pipeline during the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

October 01, 2016 – Reuters

The chief executive of North Dakota’s largest oil producer, Whiting Petroleum Corp, says the standoff over the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline could be solved by giving economic opportunities, including supply and delivery contracts, to the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native Americans.

Thousands of protesters from all over the world have joined with the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota to oppose the pipeline, which would transport oil within half a mile of tribal land. The Sioux argue the pipeline’s construction would destroy tribal burial sites. They also worry that any future leaks would pollute their water supply.

Jim Volker, Whiting’s CEO, said those concerns would be best addressed through economic opportunities, including contracting with American Indian-owned firms for water hauling and other oilfield service needs across oil-producing regions.

“We as an industry like to see them provide those services,” Volker said in an interview on the sidelines of the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s OGIS conference in San Francisco.

“It does provide a better standard of living for them. It does provide a direct tie to the energy business and makes them and their tribal leaders more inclined to want to have more energy development.”

Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, said he appreciated the suggestion from Volker, but his opposition to the pipeline has little to do with economics.

“It’s going to be very difficult for us to allow this line to come through just because some indigenous-owned company may benefit,”  Archambault said in an interview. “If this pipeline goes through, we will be the first to pay the cost.”

Volker said he was sensitive to the tribe’s concerns that construction of the Dakota Access pipeline would disturb ancestral burial sites and other historical areas.

“I wouldn’t want necessarily a pipeline to go through the cemetery where all my relatives are buried,” he said.

But added that he expects the situation to be resolved by November. “I’m pretty sure there will be a pretty good resolution to this.”

Volker also called a move last week by the owners of the Dakota Access pipeline to buy more than 7,000 acres of land adjacent to the line’s route a “pretty good move.” Federal oil pipeline regulators do not have authority over private land and cannot block construction on it.

“It just increases the odds that things get done,” he said.

The Dakota Access pipeline would, if finished, help North Dakota oil producers transport their product to refiners and other customers cheaper and faster.

Volker said he estimates the pipeline would cut the differential for North Dakota oil — that is, the extra cost needed to get the oil to market due to its distance — from about $8.50 per barrel to around $5.50.

When fully connected to existing lines, the 1,172-mile pipeline would be the first to carry crude oil from the Bakken shale directly to the U.S. Gulf. The project is being built by the Dakota Access subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP.

Federal regulators temporarily blocked construction of the pipeline earlier this month under the Missouri River. A court ruling is expected soon on whether the pipeline’s construction can proceed, though the Standing Rock Sioux and environmental groups have vowed to oppose it.

A version of this article appeared in Reuters on Sep 28, 2016. Read the full story HERE