Hau mitakuyepi – (Hello relatives),
I am the Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a native nation of over 20,000 citizens that covers 4,200 square miles of pristine prairie lands and waterways in what is currently called South Dakota.
Over the past year, we’ve witnessed the power of creative and bold resistance to fossil fuel pipelines led by Indigenous peoples and those directly impacted.
From the Watch House built directly in the path of Kinder Morgan, to planting sacred corn in the path of Keystone XL, we know that direct, bold resistance can turn the tide against a project.
That’s why my Lakota people, along with many other pipeline fighters, are building solar directly in the path of Keystone XL to send a message to TransCanada and demonstrate the solutions we want — but we need your help.
As the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman, I strongly support all of the partners behind the Promise to Protect — as they plan to build two new solar installations directly in the pipeline route in Nebraska, and two mobile solar units in South Dakota to be installed this summer.
As the group of people wholly committed to stopping this project, together we can also be the group that builds the solutions we want. With all of us chipping in, we can empower our communities and inspire more people to see our vision for the future.
The fight to stop Keystone is more urgent than ever. A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported that the company is pouring money into Nebraska elections in an attempt to buy the regulatory approval it still needs.1 They’ve announced plans to begin clearing the path for the pipeline across Montana and South Dakota, through the heart of my peoples’ territory, the land of the Oceti Sakowin.2
Luckily, this pipeline is nowhere close to being built, and we’re doubling down on our efforts to prepare people for action, and build the solutions we need in the path of this disastrous project.
Solar XL is just the beginning. Next, we’ll fight to keep these solar panels in operation and stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities on the route by training and mobilizing the 17,000 people (that’s you) who’ve committed to peaceful resistance on the route if called upon.
We’ll be in touch with photos and videos from the installations, and more ways for you to share the story of Solar XL.
Thanks for your support.