President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline on November 6 prompted elation, and a celebration the following weekend at the Rosebud Sioux offices.
Indigenous resistance was known to be key in helping defeat the proposal, as The New York Times reported in 2014. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe hosted a celebration on November 13 and 14 to thank all those involved in helping defeat the pipeline.
“Kudos to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for hosting an awesome celebration to acknowledge many of the organizations, tribal programs and countless individuals who stepped forward in the fight against the now rejected Keystone XL pipeline (KXL),” wrote Vi Waln on her blog, Sicangu Scribe. “It’s hard to describe the feeling of knowing you have been a part of making history. All pipeline fighters stood strong with their prayers in the battle against TransCanada. This is something our unborn generations will remember long after we are gone.”
Native Sun News has chronicled the downfall of Keystone XL with a photo essay highlighting Indigenous Peoples’ role in the demise of the plan to pipe bitumen from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico coast.
The seven-year fight against the proposed 1,700-mile-long, $8 billion pipeline, which would have carried up to 880,000 barrels of oil per day, was waged by environmentalists, activists and Indigenous Peoples, as well as landowners and ranchers starting as far back as 2008, when the Keystone pipeline was first approved. As Native Sun News points out, legal action from tribes along the route was among the earliest actions taken against the extension, Keystone XL.
“The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, and the Yankton Sioux Tribe lost a federal court bid to enjoin the construction of Keystone 1 when a judge dismissed their claim on Sept. 29, 2009, for lack of jurisdiction,” Native Sun News said. “Over the next seven years, tribes and grassroots organizations joined in planning direct actions to protest the Keystone XL route across 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory.”
Go to Northern Great Plains People Key in Defeating Keystone XL Pipeline Proposal for Native Sun News‘s photo essay and list of nine actions taken by Indigenous Peoples to stop the pipeline.
You can watch the entire victory celebration, which was livestreamed and then archived online, below.