It is certainly positive that construction on the Dakota Access pipeline is temporarily stalled by a recent statement of the US Army Corps of Engineers, but the statement should be taken with a grain of salt. Close examination reveals it as another stalling tactic to temporarily placate the courageous Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) patriots, allied indigenous nations and other water protectors who continue to oppose this corporate assault on the #Environment. The statement is riddled with fallacies and dripping with arrogance.

Continuing dispossession

The statement begins by urging “non-violence” on the part of water protectors, but makes no mention of the #Police Brutality of the military.

The statement says that additional analysis and discussion are warranted in light of the dispossession of the Great Sioux Nation of its lands. While acknowledging the continuing dispossession the Army Corps makes no effort to correct it by recognizing the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation's) title to its treaty territory. The statement says that it invites the Sioux to a discussion that would help reduce the risk of spill or rupture.

Exhaustion of administrative remedies

Even Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren stated he “welcomed input” from the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation). The fact is, the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) has officially opposed the pipeline for over two years. It has exhausted every single domestic administrative remedy leaving it no choice but to turn to non-violent direct action and an appeal to the United Nations.

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The arrogance of the Army Corps lies in the assumption that it owns the lands in question. It doesn't. The statement says that it honors the “government-to-government” relationship of indigenous nations to the United States.


“Government-to-government” should be seen as a red flag. Indigenous nations have a “nation-to-nation” relationship with the United States based on hundreds of treaties that are protected under the federal common law of the US. Treaties are bilateral, legally binding, international legal instruments. The statement says the Corps wishes to examine the “statute that governs easements on public land.” This is ridiculous for two reasons. First, the statute is irrelevant because the treaty controls. Article VI of the US Constitution says that “all treaties made” shall be “the supreme law of the land.”

The Army Corps has no jurisdiction

The Army Corps, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access are illegally building a pipeline through the treaty territory of the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation).

The land is not “public land.” The Army Corps has no jurisdiction. The fact that the statement says the Corps invites input on “reducing the risk of spill or rupture” shows it is committed to building the pipeline no matter what the Sioux Nation says. The Army Corps arrogantly asserts that the construction cannot continue because it has not “granted an easement.” The Army Corps cannot grant an easement through the territory of the Sioux Nation.

The Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) will never surrender

The Sioux Nation twice defeated the US in battle resulting in both Ft. Laramie Treaties. Each is a full concession and total surrender of the US to the Sioux Nation. The US immediately began violating the terms of the treaties through treachery that continues today. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says that infrastructure projects cannot occur without the “free, prior, and informed consent” of indigenous peoples. This easement cannot be granted not because of the false benevolence of the Army Corps, but because the continuously free and independent Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) will never consent. It will continue to fight these fascist agents of #Climate Change.