Robert Wayne Flying Hawk, chairman, Ihanktonwan Nation (Yankton Sioux Tribe). Photo courtesy of the Yankton Sioux Tribe.
Published January 27, 2017
WAGNER, SOUTH DAKOTA — In a letter sent via overnight courier, Tribal Chair Robert Flying Hawk, Yankton Sioux Tribe, is requesting that President Donald Trump release all correspondence and communication pertaining to the President’s decisions that led him to sign the presidential memoranda relating to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
In the letter, dated January 27, 2017, Flying Hawk cites being dismayed that President Trump signed the executive actions shortly after assuming the presidency.
Dear President Trump:
On behalf of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, or Ihanktonwan Nation, I respectfully call upon you to immediately release and make public all correspondence and communications received by your office pertaining to the Memorandum on Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Memorandum on Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline issued January 24, 2017.
The Yankton Sioux Tribe, whose treaty and ancestral lands are under threat by these projects, is dismayed by your executive actions taken just four days after you assumed office and seven days after the Army Department’s issuance of a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in Connection with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The memoranda appear to have been drafted not by the U.S. Department of Justice or White House counsel, but by the attorneys for the pipeline companies themselves. In light of your decision not to relinquish your business interests prior to taking the oath of office, our Nation has grave concerns that these memoranda serve to fulfill commitments to your personal business interests rather than adherence to the United States’ long-standing trust responsibility to Indian tribes.
As a matter of transparency, and in fulfillment of your trust responsibility as the President of the United States, our Nation calls upon you to release the afore-mentioned correspondence and communications forthwith and without reservation.
Sincerely, Robert Flying Hawk, Chairman Business and Claims Committee