Update: The Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that they wouldn't grant the final easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline, blocking the pipeline from being completed. But this victory could be overturned by the Trump administration.
The prayer camps at Standing Rock are places for ceremony, learning, and respect. Relations with the federal government seem to be marked by acknowledgment of history and openness to mutually acceptable solutions. But relations with the police – local, state, and private security – are increasingly marked by aggression.
The Army Corps of Engineers wrote to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Dakota Access company to say that it would engage in further talks with the tribe before work on the pipeline could go forward.
Update: Good News for Indian Tribes in Maine.
In December, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that applies federal Water Quality Standards to waters in Maine, including those within Indian Country. The standards specifically apply human health criteria to waters used for the exercise of sustenance fishing under the 1982 Maine Implementing Act, and six additional standards for waters in Indian lands in Maine.
Water is basic to life wherever you live. But in urban and suburban
areas, clean and (sometimes) plentiful water is taken for granted. On far-rural reservations and other tribal lands, tribes rely on rivers, not only for drinking and crop water, but also for the fish and wildlife that rivers support.
A Report from an AFSC Delegation of Visitors to Standing Rock
The American Friends Service Committee sent a delegation to visit for four days with the prayer circles established near the Cannonball River in North Dakota, the site for the ceremonies of the water protectors, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies.