Keystone XL Construction Begins Despite Pending Lawsuits
TransCanada has begun construction of the Keystone XL pipeline near the Rosebud Reservation, just a week after the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) and the Fort Belknap Indian Community (Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes) sued the Trump Administration for its illegal approval of the pipeline.
Bulldozers were seen this week grading the land in Tripp County, South Dakota, adjacent to Rosebud lands. Construction has begun despite the fact that there are three lawsuits currently going on. The one filed by Rosebud Sioux last week cites the fact that the Trump Administration has not undertaken any analysis of: trust obligations, the potential impact on tribal hunting and fishing rights, the potential impacts on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s unique water system, the potential impact of spills on tribal citizens, or the potential impact on cultural sites in the path of the pipeline. This is in violation of federal law.
“The United States is allowing TransCanada to begin construction even though there has been no review of our treaty rights, hunting and fishing rights, or the impacts to our people, our water, or our environment,” President Rodney M. Bordeaux of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. “We will fight to ensure that federal law is followed.” Read the full letter from President Bordeaux.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Community intend to move ahead with their claims against the United States and to demand that the United States honor its legal obligations.