On Sunday, the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced that they will not give permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The announcement signified a hard-won, if incomplete, victory for the Standing Rock protestors and their allies.
Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy explained that the Corps will be putting together a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement and considering alternative routes for the pipeline. In an email statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault reminded everyone that,
“While today is a great day, there is still much that needs to be done to protect Tribal rights and ensure justice for indigenous people everywhere. Using peace and prayer as our guideposts, and with the teachings of our elders and with inspiration from our youth, I believe there is much we can accomplish for the future.”
— Truthout (@truthout) December 5, 2016
The Standing Rock Sioux and their allies have been fighting the construction of the pipeline for months, braving freezing temperatures and extreme police violence. The saga has sparked renewed conversations about environmental degradation and climate change, police brutality and the rights of indigenous Americans. The self-named water protectors have received support from people across social media and around the globe. Just this week, veterans began arriving in North Dakota to act as physical barriers between protestors and police violence.