Shinnecocks join Sioux in opposing Midwest oil pipeline

The Shinnecock Indian Nation stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the fight to protect their homelands against the Army Corps of Engineers’ grant of permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline at more than 200 water crossings [“Partial halt to oil pipeline,” News, Sept. 10].

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a violation of the inherent sovereign rights of tribal nations to protect our waters for future generations.

The decision by the Army Corps to route the pipeline less than a mile upstream of the Standing Rock Reservation is a defilement of treaty law, specifically the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.

Further, the Dakota Access Pipeline is a violation of international law, specifically the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in which indigenous peoples have the right to free and informed consent “prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.”

When the Dakota Access Pipeline ruptures, it will threaten drinking water for more than 8,000 tribal members and millions of people farther downstream who rely on the Missouri and its tributaries. All people who care about our shared environment should no longer be willing to stand idly by. We shouldn’t serve as a miner’s canary while people, lands and waters are poisoned for corporate greed.

Bryan PoliteShinnecock Indian Nation

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Editor’s note: The writer is chairman of the Shinnecock Indian Nation.