Opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline rally at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln after approval of the pipeline route in the Nebraska on November 20, 2017. Photo by Kevin Abourezk

Harold Frazier: Keystone XL Pipeline represents another treaty transgression against the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

By Harold Frazier
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

The Nebraska Public Service Commission has concluded their examination process and has unfortunately approved of the permit that would allow the Keystone XL pipeline run by TransCanada Corporation to begin construction.

This pipeline will run approximately 1,179 miles from the Canadian border to its destination. When the pipeline crosses the Yellowstone River, it will snake through more than 500 miles of the Great Sioux Nation treaty territory and pass within feet of my reservation upstream on the Cheyenne River.

This decision will allow yet another treaty transgression once the construction begins to cross our treaty territory at the Yellowstone River in Montana. One pipeline has passed under the Missouri River on our eastern border and this pipeline is projected to pass under the Cheyenne River on our southern border.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will fight this treaty violation with any means necessary. We have not asked for this danger to our way of life, yet today it is being forced upon us again.

As you sit at your tables this weekend to give thanks for what you have, remember that what you have has been taken at the expense of the people who have been robbed of that ability and a land that has no defense against what is being done.

How many more years of taking will you celebrate before mother nature will no longer allow it? Do not forget that we are ruled by a law of nature that cannot be trumped by man-made laws.

We may not survive the penalty for breaking the laws of nature.

Indianz.Com Video by Kevin Abourezk: Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

I encourage anyone that understands this to accept the challenge and defend that which we all belong with a promise to protect mother nature. The time for action is now. There are many ways you can help. You can support organizations that are currently fighting to protect the land. You can organize you and your friends into new organizations to protect the land and work to turn back the damaging laws and decisions.

At this time, we are not asking for volunteers to come to the reservation. We need you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as my people face yet another wave of manifest destiny.

Harold Frazier is serving his second term as chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, based in South Dakota. He also serves as president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association. He previously served as vice chair of the tribe and as an area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians.

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