In response to the U.S. House of Representatives vote to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline, the president of South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) announced Friday that the tribe recognizes the authorization of the pipeline as an act of war.
“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,” said President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in a statement released last week. “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.”
Last February, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and other members of the Great Sioux Nation adopted tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe along with several other South Dakota Tribes have stated that the potential pipeline cuts directly through treaty lands as defined by both the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties and within the current exterior boundaries of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
“The Lakota people have always been stewards of this land,” added President Scott. “We feel it is imperative that we provide safe and responsible alternative energy resources not only to tribal members but to non-tribal members as well. We need to stop focusing and investing in risky fossil fuel projects like TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. We need to start remembering that the earth is our mother and stop polluting her and start taking steps to preserve the land, water, and our grandchildren’s future.”
The roughly 1660-mile long pipeline would carry Canadian tar sands oil to Texas for refining. In the six years of approval limbo, the Keystone XL pipeline has become the symbolic battle between oil expansion ideology and environmental or conservation efforts on behalf of climate change. The Senate is expected to vote on the pipeline Tuesday.