The Dakota Access Pipeline protests are on hold for now, following the Army Corps of Engineers' announcement on December 4 that they would seek an alternate route for the pipeline that has been the subject of ongoing resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux Native Americans, as well as an alliance of environmentalists and protesters. It was a stunning victory for the local tribe, who feared poisoning of their local water supplies as well as damage to sacred land.
“We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing. It took tremendous courage to take a new approach to our nation-to-nation relationship, and we will be forever grateful." – Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, to BuzzFeed News
Concerns remain, however, about the incoming administration – the environmental impact statement being prepared could take months, which means it is unlikely to be completed during President Obama's time in office. Trump could reverse the Corps' decision after he takes office on January 20.
There are many possible outcomes at this stage, as well as questions about who gets to tell the story of Standing Rock. But while the Water Protectors have won the battle for now, possibilities of renewed conflict in the future remain. For now, while protesters and the natives of Standing Rock can celebrate, they remain watchful – organising benefit events via social media, creating art and staying connected.
All artwork via the #NoDAPL hashtag on Instagram
Keep up to date and get involved at NoDAPL.life
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