1. The Obama administration is passing the buck, to Trump.
On Sunday, December 4, 2016 the Army Corp of Engineers denied the
easement for pipeline development under Lake Oahe and made recommendations for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the river crossing and exploration for alternative routes. An EIS would likely take months to undertake and would be subject to the Trump regime’s Environmental Protection Agency.
2. Energy Transfer Partners vows to continue building DAPL under Lake Oahe.
Energy Transfer Partners issued a statement threatening to continue development regardless of the Army Corps decision stating that “Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.” In spite of recent snow storms ETP has continued construction.
3. Fracking continues in the Bakken.
The Bakken Shale holds an estimated 5 billion barrels of oil, and is producing
approximately 900,000 barrels per day. Fracked crude oil is hauled by rail with trains that can haul up to 70,000 barrels. BNSF and Canadian Pacific carry about 400,000 barrels out of the Bakken each day, in 2013 71 percent of all Bakken crude was hauled by train. North Dakota officials approved 3 additional pipeline projects in August, 2016.
4. The Trump regime is eager to further oil and gas extraction and threatens to privatize reservations.
5. 575 Water Protectors and Land Defenders still face charges and court proceedings.
North Dakota court administrator has stated, “We don’t have sufficient judges
to get all of those cases heard in a timely fashion.”
The state judicial system will ask the Legislature next year for an additional $1.5 million to cover protector-related costs. The number of arrests doesn’t account for those arrested in actions taken outside Standing Rock. The National Lawyers Guild has called for all charges against protectors to be dropped in light of the recent easement decision.
6. Red Fawn Fallis is still in jail.
Red Fawn was arrested with more than 140 people when police attacked the 1851 Treaty Camp at Standing Rock on October 27, 2016. Morton County Sheriff’s Department initially charged her with attempted murder but dropped that charge to “possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.” She remains in jail to this date. www.indi.com/FreeRedFawn
7. Lawsuits are being filed addressing excessive force and police brutality.
Water protectors and land defenders have faced mass arrests and brutality including a flash bang that severely injured Sophia Wilansky, deployment of water canons in sub-freezing temperatures, and other serious abuses at the hands of militarized police forces.
The National Lawyers Guild’s Water Protector Legal Collective filed suit in US District Court against Morton County, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirschmeier, and other law enforcement agencies for using excessive force against peaceful Water Protectors on the night of November 20, 2016.
8. Indigenous peoples have no guaranteed protection for religious freedom.
Sacred sites are subject to discretion of public land management agencies when assessing threats to sacred sites. Infrastructure, resource, and other interests currently threaten sacred lands throughout the so-called US such as South Mountain, Red Butte, Oak Flat, Mt. Taylor, Chaco Canyon, Bears Ears, and many more sacred sites.
9. Colonialism and Capitalism.
The legacy of colonial invasion and occupation of Indigenous lands is one of genocide and ecocide. So long as Mother Earth is viewed as a commodity, sacred lands will be threatened by resource extraction industries. Upholding Indigenous sovereignty means engaging in anti-colonial and anti-capitalist struggle to ensure the systems that benefit from destruction of Mother Earth and water are abolished.