Ihanktonwan/Oceti Sakowin Lands WOPIDA (Thanksgiving) of International Treaty to Protect the Sacred Against Tarsands & KXL at Yankton Sioux Homelands Planned

No KXL allies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2014

Published January 11, 2019

PICKTOWN, S.D. — In a dej’avu moment repeated from January 2013, NOKXL allies will come together at an all-day Thanks/Wopida gathering at Ft. Randall Casino and Hotel in Pickstown, South Dakota on January 15, 2019.

The reunion is in commemoration of the historic signing of the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred that unified Oceti Sakowin tribes, the Ponca, Pawnee, Oglala and 10 First Nations of Canada, Treaty Councils, grassroots traditional societies, environmental non-profits, non-Native landowners, ranchers and farmers of Nebraska and South Dakota, including Bold and NEAT in Nebraska; in order to stop tarsands destruction of Indigenous and private lands and water. The signing kicked off the revival of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance and the subsequent NOKXLDAKOTA ALLIANCE.

At a subsequent treaty signing in 2017, Lower Brule and Sisseton Sioux Tribes signed the treaty. It was the first large treaty signing in recent years.  Some of these groups have been fighting KXL and tarsands for the last decade, leading up to the Standing Rock uprising. The KXL Pipeline still remains a “ghost pipeline.” These groups also led the “Reject and Protect” encampment at the Nation’s Capitol where horseback riders took the message of “no pipelines” to the White House.

The fight continues after Trump signed presidential memorandum calling for construction of KXL.

The Treaty Alliance represents front line communities fighting the intrusion of tarsands pipelines, uranium and fracking developments. These groups have provided a powerful unlikely alliance on many fronts and locations. Several regional and national environmental groups obtained a reprieve in halting KXL construction in federal court.  In November 2018 in the Montana decision, US District Judge Brian Morris agreed with plaintiff’s arguments that a 2014 environmental assessment fell short of National Environmental Policy Act and other regulatory standards. The Judge barred Transcanada and the US from “engaging in any activity in the furtherance of the construction or operation of Keystone and associated facilities” until the U.S. State Department has completed a supplemental review. Transcanada tried to appeal this and failed.  Prior to this decision, the KXL Pipeline Presidential Permit was revoked by President Barack Obama, but reinstated by President Donald Trump, leading up to the current situation.

Some tribes have not been consulted on any of the processes mentioned previously and certainly will demand “free prior and informed consent” or not, once the current SEIS is complete. This will be another battleground.

Invitations have gone out to tribal elected leaders, grassroots, councils and committees, treaty people, attorneys, elders, youth, traditional societies, First Nation leaders, green organizations and non-Native pipeline opponents and allies.

The agenda will include updates on KXL, voices of Pipeline fighters, tribute to those “who have walked on”, a ceremony of “thank you”, an honoring of youth through Music and the Spoken Word. Frank Waln, Tanaya Winder, Miya Takes Warbonnet, Sunrose Iron Shell, Justin Cournoyer and other youth will perform in the afternoon.

For more information, contact Faith Spotted Eagle, Chair, Ihanktonwan Treaty Committee and member of Brave Heart Society. (eagletrax@hotmail.com). Hotel rooms can be obtained at Ft. Randall Casino Hotel at 605 487 7871.

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  1. ANITA Abraham 1 year ago
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