Taino Support Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline

Native Americans protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. 
(AP Photo/James MacPherson)
Ft. Yates, North Dakota (UCTP Taino News) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) approved construction permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will bring it within a half a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. If completed, this pipeline would transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day and cross the Missouri River, which is the only source of water to the reservation. A key issue is that the USACE did not consulate with or gain consent from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST), which is a violation of the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other International Human Rights instruments whose provisions the United States is obliged to uphold. According to tribal officials the pipeline will damage or destroy sacred sites and burial grounds along its proposed route. The SRST has issued a call of support for its opposition to the pipeline, which the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) responded to on August 16, 2016 in an official communication to Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II. 

The Confederation’s solidarity letter supported the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s courageous efforts to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and that it is clear that federal laws and treaties were bypassed in the planning process requiring direct consultation with the Tribe.” The Tribe’s External Affairs Director Steven Sitting Bear confirmed receipt of the Confederation letter stating, “Standing Rock appreciates the Taino People’s support.” 

Roberto Múkaro Agüeibaná Borrero, President of the UCTP noted that “Taino People have experience with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their lack of consultation with regard to sacred sites and burial grounds.” Borrero continued stating that “despite provisions in the Historic Preservation Act for consultation, the USACE proceeded to remove ancestral remains without meeting with local Taino even after several official requests were made with regard to the Hacanas (Jacanas) PO29 archeological site in 2007.” 

“Considering these past actions and the current situation affecting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the USACE continues to violate the right to free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples as defined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is contrary to the Obama administration commitment to implement the Declaration.” 

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filled an injunction to halt the construction of the pipeline scheduled to be heard case being heard in Federal Court in early September 2016. 

UCTPTN 08.19.2016

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