Native Nations Sue the Federal Government to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) and the Fort Belknap Indian Community (Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes) are suing the Trump Administration in the District Court for violating key federal regulations in approving the Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline, according to an email from the Native American Rights Fund, which also has joined the suit.

The 77-page lawsuit asks the court to find the federal permits violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act( NHPA). The lawsuit asks the Court to rescind the permits and prohibit “any activity in furtherance of the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Pipeline and related facilities.”

Some of the arguments this lawsuit makes are similar to the ones that Native nations in northern Minnesota could make against Enbridge Line 3.

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Cheyenne River Nation to Keystone XL: ‘We Will Be Waiting’

The Cheyenne River Sioux Nation in South Dakota is apparently a people of few words.

Map of Keystone XL Pipeline. (Wikimedia Commons)

Cheyenne River received a letter from the TransCanada corporation on Wednesday, alerting it to upcoming work on Keystone XL, a tar sands crude oil pipeline that will run from Alberta, Canada to Texas, crossing South Dakota and other states along the way.

The letter included a disingenuous passage about how TransCanada cares about indigenous rights.

TransCanada recognizes Tribal Nations as rightsholders who have a distinct relationship with the land. We appreciate the concern that local Tribal Leadership and community members may have with the increased activities throughout Montana and South Dakota, and welcome the opportunity to discuss further. …

Harold C. Frazier, chairman of Cheyenne River, responded to TransCanada the next day with a letter of only four words:

We will be waiting.

Images of the correspondence follow.

Walz Chooses Flanagan as Lt. Governor Candidate; Dakota 38 Screening in St. Paul; Tar Sands Pipeline Stopped in Canada

News and Events:

DFL candidate for governor Tim Walz picks Peggy Flanagan, state representative from Twin Cities, as running mate. The Star Tribune reports:

The DFL congressman from Mankato [Walz] plans to introduce Flanagan to supporters Saturday at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, the first candidate for governor in 2018 from either party to select a running mate.

Flanagan, 38, is a two-term lawmaker from the western Twin Cities metro with deep roots in DFL activism. If Flanagan becomes lieutenant governor, she would be the state’s first American Indian elected to statewide office, and the highest ranking elected American Indian woman in U.S. history.

Dakota 38 Screening and Dialogue in St. Paul, Free and Open to the Public

On Thursday, October 12, the Center for Equity and Culture of St. Paul Public Schools is hosting a screening and panel discussion of the film, Dakota 38. There will be riders and other members of the Dakota community here to speak on historical trauma and efforts being made to heal – both personally and in community. Panelists include Lisa Bellanger, Vanessa Goodthunder, Winona Goodthunder, Reuben Kitto Stately and Ramona Kitto Stately.

Join us at from 5:30-8:30 this Thursday, October 12 at the CEC, Washington Technology Magnet, 1495 Rice St., St. Paul, MN 55117. The even is free and open to the public.  For more information visit our website at spps.org/cec or call us at 651-744-2635.

TransCanada abandons Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects. The BBC reports that TransCanada has abandoned two major Canadian tar sands crude oil pipeline projects: Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects. The story said that these project were an effort to “diversify its reliance on the United States for its energy exports.?

But a number of proposed projects have languished or been cancelled amid a commodity price slump, regulatory hurdles, and public opposition from environmentalist groups and others.

Comment: If the Canadians don’t want a tar sands crude oil pipeline in their backyard, why should Minnesota take the risk?