FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 12, 2016
Thomasina Realbird, Yankton Sioux Tribe (303) 673-9600 or
Faith Spotted Eagle, Treaty Chair, (605) 481-0416 Ihanktonwan
Jason Cooke, Yankton Sioux Tribe, (605) 384-3641
After two requests from the Yankton Sioux Tribe on March 17 and April 13, 2016 and numerous phone calls; the US Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to Consultation with the Yankton/Ihanktonwan on the Bakken Pipeline, otherwise termed the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Yankton reject the appropriation of the name “Dakota” in a project that is in violation of aboriginal and treaty lands. The word Dakota means “the People” in the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language and was never intended to be used in a project which violates traditional ceremonial areas.
The Consultation was proposed by the Corps to take place at the Powerhouse building at the US Army Corps Offices in Pickstown, SD at the Ft. Randall Dam. This is the same Dam that obliterated the White Swan Community of the Ihanktonwan in the 1950’s. In response the Ihanktonwan are inviting the Corps to meet with them at the Ft. Randall Casino on May 18, at 4pm at the Ft. Randall Casino. Tribal Secretary, Sam Sully stated that this tribal consultation request will take place on tribal lands.
The Ihanktonwan have cited the need for a full Environmental Impact Statement, just as the Enivornmental Policy Act, the Department of Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have recommended. Other issues will be presented by the tribe at the consultation.
The Ihanktonwan are in full opposition to this pipeline as it threatens the water source of tribal members as well as five other communities on the Missouri River who utilize drinking water from this source. The Tribe has a host of concerns that have not been met and these will be addressed.