This week, dozens of Tribal Nations and allies in the fight to stop Keystone XL gathered on the Yankton reservation in South Dakota to sign the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred Against the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands.
First signed in 2013, the treaty declares “mutual opposition to tar sands projects and energy development that threaten the lands, the waters, the air, our sacred sites, and our ways of life” including Keystone XL.
We honored the current signatories, and also celebrated new signers including the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska during a beautiful and spiritual gathering.
Six years later, the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred against Keystone XL and tar sands is strong and growing. Watch as more Indigenous Nations sign the treaty in a historic show of unity in South Dakota.
Posted by 350.org on Tuesday, January 15, 2019
This treaty unifies the Oceti Sakowin, Ponca, Pawnee, Oglala and 10 First Nations in Canada, Treaty Councils, grassroots groups, environmental organizations, non-Native landowners, ranchers and farmers from Nebraska and South Dakota, including Bold Nebraska and Nebraska Easement Action Network (NEAT) in the protection of land, water, and climate against toxic tar sands.
While TransCanada announced that they hope to begin construction on Keystone XL in June, being in this room with all my relatives, I was more sure than ever that this pipeline will never be built.
Dakota beliefs remind us to give thanks for gifts received, and as Keystone XL pipeline fighters we have much to be thankful for. It’s been over a decade since TransCanada proposed this project and Indigenous peoples are united to stop this dirty pipeline to protect our land, water, and communities.
In November, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris nullified Trump’s crossborder permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, ordering TransCanada to cease pre-construction. The ruling also found that the Trump administration’s reversal of an Obama-era decision on the project required a new environmental review.
In addition, in the coming weeks, the Nebraska Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of the alternative route permitted by the NE Public Service Commission (PSC) in November 2017, which could yet bring this project to a halt.
To view the opening prayer and remarks from the gathering, watch the longer livestream here.