Last week’s vote to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline by the Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives constitutes an “act of war” and a “death warrant,” according to the South Dakota Rosebud Sioux (Lakota) Nation, Lakota Voice Rez News reported Friday.
Tribal President Cyril L. Scott rebuked the House, according to Rez News:
The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands. We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people.
Rez News explains:
The Tribe has done its part to remain peaceful in its dealings with the United States in this matter, in spite of the fact that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through Tribal land, and the concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed.
A Native and First People’s anti-pipeline coalition website (Shield the People), linked from the tribe’s website, explains their position:
Can a Tipi Stop a Pipeline?
Keystone Tar Sands / XL Pipeline.
Nearly everyone is familiar with these words and most have an opinion about what they represent. For those who are willing to sacrifice the very things which make life possible on this planet, it’s personal wealth and power. For a vast majority of people it simply means saving a few cents at the gas pump. But for those who have studied the short and long term effects of what these words represent, their conclusions are much more grim.
Reputable scientists from all over the world have made their findings on these projects known to the governments of the United States, Canada and the United Nations. Findings, which incidentally, are in agreement with the beliefs and ancient knowledge of the First Nations people of the American continents. Simply stated, the findings indicate that we are putting the ability for living organisms to survive on this planet at grave risk. The indigenous peoples have long understood the relationship of man and nature. Ironically, it is these very people who now bear the brunt and negative effects of these projects.
The original rights and lands under treaty with federal governments have been discarded and relegated to so called “Sacrifice Zones.” As a result, the health and safety of the men, women, and children living in these areas have been ignored and abused.
Now, the people of the First Nations are organizing to protect and shield the people, natural resources and cultural heritage from the devastation, knowing that it is not only their small corner of the world they are protecting, but the very survival of the entire living organism that is Mother Earth.
More at Shield the People dot org.
Photo of anti-pipeline demonstration in New York City via Shield the People.