FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2017
Over 8,000 Commit to Join Future Resistance Along Keystone XL Route if Pipeline Moves Forward
One day after the Nebraska Commission’s decision, thousands have already answered the call from pipeline fighters to protect against Keystone XL
Lower Brule, SD — One day after the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, more than 8,000 people have committed to join a peaceful resistance along the project’s route if it moves forward. These commitments are responding to the “Promise to Protect” — a call from Indigenous peoples, farmers, and ranchers living along the route who’ve been leading a years-long effort against the pipeline. For years, this alliance has kept Keystone XL and the more than 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil it would transport per day at bay.
The call to action has gained endorsements from numerous tribal governments, progressive and climate organizations, and other prominent figures, including: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe chairman Harold C. Frazier, Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe chairman David Flute, Yankton Sioux Nation member Faith Spotted Eagle, Wiconi un Tipi Camp leader Lewis Grassrope, Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Dallas Goldtooth, Native Organizers Alliance executive director Judith LeBlanc, actor and climate advocate Mark Ruffalo, author and activist Naomi Klein, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, and many more. Full list of endorsers at http://nokxlpromise.org.
The launch of this “Promise to Protect” coincided with a gathering of Indigenous leaders and their allies in South Dakota for the second signing of a treaty committed to defending sacred lands, waters, and sites against the expansion of the Canadian tar sands. TransCanada’s lukewarm response to the Nebraska decision leaves their next steps unclear. Last month, the company abandoned their Energy East pipeline in Canada after years of campaigning against it, and last week, the existing Keystone pipeline’s massive leak of at least 210,000 gallons of crude oil into South Dakota farmland gained national attention. TransCanada’s next shareholder meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 28.
Lewis Grassrope, leader of the Wiconi un Tipi Camp at the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota:
“We, the Oyate of Wiconi un Tipi, have put up camp since we left Standing Rock to be in opposition of atrocious decisions and acts like these. Many have answered the call of signing the ‘Promise to Protect’ after the decision from Nebraska’s Public Service Commission on the Keystone XL pipeline. So we are also here to protect the sacred and all creation this pipeline brings in its path of destruction. We are here to stay and here to be good relatives to all creation.”
Joye Braun, leader of the Wakpa Waste Camp at the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota:
“It gives me a great sense of hope and community to see nearly 8,000 people who have signed on to the ‘Promise to Protect’ our water, our homelands, our people, and to stand in solidarity with us on the ground. Especially our Indigenous communities, our tribes, and our farmer and rancher friends. This is hope, this is power — people power.”
Faith Spotted Eagle, member of the Yankton Sioux Nation:
“We need to be clear that on November 20, TransCanada did not win. Continued attempted assaults on Mother Earth are never winning actions. The No KXL Dakota/Lakota gathering at Kul Wicasa on the same day of November 20 is an exciting renewed strong circle of allies who walk forward stronger than ever. We will prevail in our spiritual movement.”
Joseph White Eyes, International Indigenous Youth Council:
“By coming here we made the commitment not only protect the Sacred but the also the Ogallala Aquifer. We as indigenous youth see a need for strong young voices in the movement because we are witnessing all this destruction done by a small few of adults. We are committing to no longer letting other people decide our future for us. By signing this treaty we are telling the world to respect us or expect us! Mni Wicozani, through water there is life.”
Judith LeBlanc, Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma, Executive Director of Native Organizers Alliance:
“Promising to protect the sacred is a commitment that requires our love and compassion and discipline. Together let us send that message to TransCanada.”
May Boeve, 350.org executive director:
“TransCanada has many hurdles still ahead on Keystone XL, and if they ever run out, thousands of people have promised to be the biggest one. This pipeline’s route through the upper Midwest has been hampered at every turn for nearly a decade, and we’re doing all we can to keep it that way. Yesterday’s decision in Nebraska raises far more questions than answers on the future of Keystone XL — what’s certain is that we’re ready to build the fossil free world our communities and climate need.”