Mary Annette Pember: Keystone XL fighter counts coup in South Dakota


In defiance of south Dakota puc approval of kxl

Posted by Joye Braun on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Joye Braun, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a longtime fighter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, counted coup on the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission earlier this month. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember has the story:
Although the touch of her cane was as light as a feather, the weight of counting coup on Keystone pipeline supporters was heavy with symbolism.

Joye Braun of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe of South Dakota employed the traditional act of counting coup, lightly touching the enemy with a stick, to issue a promise that the tribes will never allow the TransCanada Keystone pipeline to cross Native land.

Braun is a longtime intervener with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC); an intervener is a citizen who agrees to take a formal participatory role in legal actions relating to PUC actions. She decided to count coup on TransCanada executives and PUC members at a January 5 meeting in which the PUC approved TransCanada’s route through the state.

The PUC’s approval overrode objections from tribal and other opponents who argued that the company should begin its application process from scratch since too much time had elapsed since the initial PUC approval more than four years ago.

“For many of the Plains tribes, counting coup is the ultimate act of shaming your enemy,” Braun said. “It tells them that you’re not afraid to come up to them, touch them, and walk away without fear of being killed, or in my case, of being arrested.”

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: Keystone XL: Counting Coup on SD Utilities Commission Delivers Powerful Message (Indian Country Today 1/11)

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