Standing Rock Sioux tribe has won on Sunday December 4, 2016 as the construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline is stopped by federal authorities, Huffington Post reported. The US Army Corps of Engineers has denied the final easement needed for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross beneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The Army Corps has committed to finding alternatives for the 1,172 mile pipeline which stretches from Bakken Formation, North Dakota to southern Illinois. They plan to proceed after receiving the results of an environmental study.
Protests began at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in April of 2016 as Native Americans and supporters sought to protect sacred lands, and prevent water contamination. The pipeline will make passage affecting the Missouri River, Mississippi River and pass through the states of Iowa and South Dakota as well.
Allegations of harsh treatment arose in October, 2016 while up to 140 protesters were arrested. Some were strip searched such as Cody Hall, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, actor Shailene Woodley and physician Sara Jumping Eagle. Amnesty International sent a formal letter to Morton’s County Sheriff Department and sent human rights watchers to observe the law enforcement’s treatment of protesters.
Celebrations took place at the Oceti Sakowin Campground as 9 months of protest by human rights, environmental, social justice activists and indigenous peoples of the United States culminated in a halt to drilling at Lake Oahe.
The Obama Administration has denied the permit required for final construction. The fate of the $3.8 billion project is unclear as President-Elect Donald Trump has stated that he approves it.
At Oceti Sakowin Campground.
Activist Brenda Cohen.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse.
Political activist and philosopher Cornel West orates at a multi-faith congregation.
Marine veteran Evan Porter.
Dakota Access Pipeline protesters celebrating the denial of easement by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Navy veteran Rob McHaney with a group of military veteran protesters.
Fireworks at Oceti Sakowin Campground.
Army veteran Ben Wright with Navy veteran Rob McHaney.
Drummers sing victory song.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Sioux Nation.