TULSA, Okla. – Several tribes across Oklahoma are standing in solidarity with Native American protesters in North Dakota.
The whole situation stems from an oil pipeline that is supposed to be built in the area near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s land.
The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa and into Illinois. The underground pipeline would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which would be sent to markets and refineries in the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions, according to Energy Transfer Crude Oil Co.
Tribal leaders say they fear the pipeline will destroy sacred sites and contaminate drinking water.
A protest ensued after tribal leaders say the company and the Army Corp of Engineers did not follow proper procedures when dealing with their territory.
“We have laws that require federal agencies to consider environmental risks and protection of Indian historic and sacred sites,” Dave Archambault II, the elected chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said in a statement. “But the Army Corps has ignored all those laws and fast-tracked this massive project just to meet the pipeline’s aggressive construction schedule.”
According to KJRH, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma recently sent volunteers with donations of food, water and other supplies to the area.
“It’s the first time in my lifetime that I have seen a gathering of nations of this magnitude over protecting water,” said Sherry Hamby.
A federal judge is expected to decide on an injunction filed by the Sioux tribe on Tuesday.