Tuesday, November 18, 2014



This from Mediaite:

Seconds after Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that the “aye” votes approving Keystone XL project fell just short of the 60 vote threshold, a Native American chant broke out in the gallery, celebrating the Senate’s rejection of the controversial crude oil pipeline.

The man who began the chant reportedly came from the Lakota tribe (reportedly is Greg Graycloud, a Lakota)
After he completed his singing, much to the chagrin of Warren (who called for the sergeant-at-arms to remove all hecklers), a group of protestors began chanting about the Senate Democrats who voted in favor of the pipeline.
All of the people who interrupted the proceedings were eventually escorted out.

Is another Indian War about to get under way?

The answer is "probably so."

In response to the USA 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.

President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said late last week, 

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.

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.

The Lakota people have always been stewards of this land. 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 Pipeline will cross Sacred Treaty Lands and to violate these lands by digging ditches for the pipelines is blasphemes to the beliefs of the Native Americans.

Bryan Brewer, president of the Oglala Sioux band, was quoted in World Crunch where he explains,

...opposition is not just to protect the spirits of their ancestors.  We receive water from Missouri through an aqueduct that the pipeline would cross at three different points. These pipes will have leaks that would contaminate our water supply, and we need to protect it.

Wica Agli co-founder and American Indian activist, Aldo Seoane  adds,

It is powerful to see so many of our Indigenous relatives take a strong stance in opposition to the Pipeline. The proposed route for the Pipeline passes through the Ogallala Aquifer, which is North America’s largest fresh water aquifer. In this and other ways, the Pipeline threatens Native and non-native ways of life....President Scott’s words remind us that these abuses of power are unacceptable.

Does that make it clear?

The Lakota tribes are a sovereign nation under even USA law.

But the USA isn't concerned about law.  

The proposed route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline crosses directly through Great Sioux Nation (Oceti Sakowin) 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.  

But the USA isn't concerned about treaties.

Such thinking, such action always leads to trouble.  

Beth Lone Eagle points out,

Many of us have taken a personal pledge: they will physically have to go through us. Whenever Indian people take action, no matter how non-violent, we know whose blood gets shed. They proved that to us at Wounded Knee. But we have to draw the line somewhere. Our horses are ready –people think that’s figurative, but it’s not.

It is surely to be noted, but seldom is, that  the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota are such an unselfish people, that they have turned their backs on the $1.5 billion dollars offered to them for settling the Black Hills Claim and although they are among the poorest of all Americans.

The Lakota aren't alone in the fight this time.  Ranchers, landowners and tribal nations throughout the midwest are lining up alongside the Lakota. One of those non-Native Americans is lifelong rancher Paul Seamans, a 67-year-old former chair of Dakota Rural Action.  Seamans originally signed a deal with TransCanada to accept part of the pipeline on his property.  

He has changed his mind as Raw Story has reported.  Seamans now says:

A lot of people have been taken in by the inflated jobs claims.  TransCanada and the politicians realized how well the jobs line would play – so they kept inflating it all the time. First they said 5,000 jobs, then a hundred or even two hundred thousand, and now they seem to have settled on 40,000. But I’ve never seen credible studies of how they arrived at even that.

 An alliance might seem unlikely, but it’s not really.   We have a lot of the same interests. Historically it may have been so, but things are changing. Especially with the advent of social media, which has made it a lot easier to keep in contact. A lot of us have given more consideration to their Native American treaty rights and see things more from their perspective now.

I’ve always been irritated by the eminent domain laws that favour the oil companies and don’t protect landowners. But as I’ve learned about what the tar sands is all about, I know it’s very destructive. I would as soon as they leave it in the ground. 

In fact, a study by Cornell University’s Global Labour Institute concluded the pipeline project could kill more jobs than it would create, through oil spills, pollution, and an increase in gas prices.

The following is from Native Sun News via Indianz.com

The final Indian war in America about to begin
Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© Native Sun News

South Dakota’s Republican leadership of John Thune and Kristi Noem always march lockstep with the other Republican robots. Neither of them care that South Dakota’s largest minority, the people of the Great Sioux Nation, diametrically oppose the Pipeline and they also fail to understand the determination of the Indian people to stop it.

The House vote was 252-161 favoring the bill. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) who is trying to take the Senate seat from Democrat Mary Landrieu, They are headed for a runoff on December 6 and Landrieu has expressed a strong support of the bill in hopes of holding her Senate seat.

Two hundred twenty-one Republicans supported the bill which made the Republican support unanimous while 31 Democrats joined the Republicans. One hundred sixty-one Democrats rejected the bill.

Progressive newsman and commentator for MSNBC, Ed Schultz, traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota this year to meet with the Indian opponents of the Pipeline. Firsthand he witnessed the absolute determination of the Indian nations to stop construction of the Pipeline.

He witnessed their determination and reported on it. Except for Schultz the national media shows no interest and apparently has no knowledge of how the Indian people feel about the Pipeline nor do they comprehend that they will go to their deaths stopping it. What is wrong with the national media when it comes to Indians?

As an example of the national media’s apathy, the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota have turned their backs on the $1.5 billion dollars offered to them for settling the Black Hills Claim and although they are among the poorest of all Americans, the national media does not consider this news.

Why do they protest the XL Pipeline? Because the lands the Pipeline will cross are Sacred Treaty Lands and to violate these lands by digging ditches for the pipelines is blasphemes to the beliefs of the Native Americans.

Violating the human and religious rights of a People in order to create jobs and low cost fuel is the worst form of capitalism. Will the Pipeline bring down the cost of fuel and create thousands of jobs?

President Barack Obama has blocked the construction of the Pipeline for 6 years and he said, “I have constantly pushed back against the idea the somehow the Keystone Pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices. Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn’t have an impact on U. S. gas prices.”

In the meantime Senator Landrieu conceded that it is unlikely that the Senate and the House will have the two-thirds majority needed to override an Obama veto.

Wizipan Little Elk of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a coalition of tribal leaders from across the Northern Plains and the United States have pulled no punches on how they intend to fight the Pipeline to the death if that is the only way to stop it.

South Dakota’s elected leadership has totally ignored the protests of the largest minority residing in their state. They have also totally underestimated and misunderstood the inherent determination of the Indian people. This is a huge mistake that will have national implications and it is taking place right under their Republican noses.

What is even worse South Dakota’s media has also buried its collective heads in the sand even though Native Sun News has been reporting on the Keystone XL Pipeline since 2006. Award winning Health and Environment Editor for Native Sun News, Talli Nauman, has been at the journalistic forefront of this environmental disaster about to happen from day one and she has been rewarded by the South Dakota Newspaper Association with many awards for her yearly series of articles on this most important topic. Until this issue became a political football, the rest of South Dakota’s media had been silent.

The Keystone XL Pipeline that is being pushed by TransCanada may well be the beginning of the final war between the United States government and the Indian Nations. A word of caution to TransCanada and the U. S. Government: please do not disregard the determination of the Indian people when they say they will fight this Pipeline to their deaths if need be. They mean it!

When asked if he truly thought that a handful of Indians could stop the construction of the Pipeline, Little Elk simply said, “Try us!”

Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the editor and publisher of Native Sun News. He can be reached at editor@nsweekly.com

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