Nathan Phillips of the Omaha Tribe performs a grass dance at fifth annual Ponca sacred corn planting ceremony at the Tanderups farm near Neligh, Nebraska on June 10, 2018. The farm lies within the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Photo by Kevin Abourezk

Harold Frazier: Tribes once again deprived of voice in Keystone XL fight

Response to South Dakota Supreme Court dismissing CRST case against PUC decision

By Harold Frazier
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Last week the South Dakota Supreme Court decided to take our arguments about the questionable decision by the State’s Public Utility Commission to award a permit to TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, combine them with them with other governments and associations then promptly dismiss them.

The bottom line is the state’s court refused to hear what we have to say. Instead the court decided to dismiss the case out of convenience to the state of South Dakota and their bottom line. I’m not surprised that the state institution would choose the dollar bill over listening to the concerns of their citizens and tribal governments.

I condemn the Supreme Court of South Dakota for not listening to the arguments by other governments. The Supreme Court of South Dakota will cover its ears and eyes but not its mouth and blame a lack of legislative direction on its lack of moral direction. So once again, a way has been justified to keep us from voicing our concern in this state.

The state of South Dakota is taking a stance of being right because they will not listen to those who try to tell them when they are wrong. Just because you have made something legal does not make it right.

I am constantly amazed about the ability of the powers that be to keep doing what is morally wrong while justifying it as legally right.

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 his tribe and as an area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians.

South Dakota Supreme Court Decision:

The Fight Against Keystone XL

Indianz.Com Video by Kevin Abourezk: Ponca Plant Seeds of Resistance, Sacred Corn

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

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