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Native American´s Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), USA

"We are not protestors. We are life protectors": Standing Rock Sioux Tribe resist against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, an 1886 km underground oil pipeline. In July 2020, a judge ordered to shut it down for violating the NEPA


The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is part of the Bakken Pipeline Project (BPP). A 1886 km underground oil pipeline to transport around 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois, where it will shipped to refineries. The owner is the Energy Transfer Crude Oil, a Texas-based company and is financed by more than 15 banks around the world.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Native American´s Sioux against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Ilinois.
Location of conflict:Standing Rock
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

-A underground pipeline across both sides of Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

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Project area:1,900 km
Level of Investment for the conflictive project3,800,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:8,000
Start of the conflict:06/2016
Company names or state enterprises:Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company from United States of America - owner
Dakota Access, LLC from United States of America - Subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC,
Phillips 66 from United States of America - co-investor
Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP) from United States of America - co-investor
Marathon Petroleum Corporation from United States of America - co-investor
Relevant government actors:U.S. Department of the Army; U.S Government; State of North Dakota;Department of Justice; Department of the Interior; Natural Resources Defense Council; American Petroleum Institute;The Army Corps of Engineers;
International and Finance InstitutionsCitybank from United States of America
Wells Fargo (WFC) from United States of America
BNP Paribas (BNP) from France
SunTrust from United States of America
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) from United Kingdom
The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) from Japan
Mizuho Bank (Mizuho) from Japan
TD Securities
ABN AMRO Capital
ING Bank NV from Netherlands
Norway's largest financial services group (DnB NOR ASA) from Norway
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) from China
SMBC Nikko Securities from Japan
Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking (SGCIB) from France
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:EJOS: Great Sioux Nation,
Supporters: National Congress of American Indians, Greenpeace; Science & Environmental Health Network; Sierra Club; Black Lives Matter (BLM),
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Sioux tribes. They have received solidarity visits from many other indigenous peoples' delegations (from Hawaii, Ecuador, Brazil, among others)
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Ask for disinvestments actions; for example #DeFund DAPL campaign.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Fostering a culture of peace
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:On december 2016, The Army announced to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.
Indians Americans claim for the recognitions and respect of govern theirselfs snd their land.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The US Army Corps of Engineers suspended the project after months of protest, but in February 2017 said it planned to grant final easement for the remaining section of the project.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Treaty of Fort Laramie of April 29, 1868

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Environmental assessment: Dakota Access Pipeline Project, crossings of flowage easements and federal lands
[click to view]

[click to view]

Army halts construction of DAP
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‘Water Is Life’: A Look Inside the Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters’ Camp
[click to view]

Black Lives Matter Delegation Returns from Standing Rock Camp
[click to view]

Dakota Access Pipeline: US Army Corps of Engineers shuts down protesters
[click to view]

Army Corps ruling is a big win for foes of Dakota Access Pipeline
[click to view]

Veterans beg forgiveness at Standing Rock:
[click to view]

Breaking: DAPL Construction on Hold Pending Further Review and Tribal Consultation
[click to view]

Divesting in DAPL in Favor of American Indian-Owned Banks
[click to view]

Trump backs Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines
[click to view]

We´re missing 90 percent of the Dakota Access Pipeline Story
[click to view]

JUST IN: The secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II that the current route for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline will be denied.
[click to view]

Push to Evict Remaining NoDAPL Water Protectors Intensifies
[click to view]

‘Divestment is our goal’: Seattle City Council to vote on pulling $3 billion from Wells Fargo over Dakota Access Pipeline
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Trump signs order reviving controversial pipeline projects – video
[click to view]

People at Standing Rock are still being arrested, and the Dakota Access Pipeline could be built under Trump
[click to view]

Naomi Klein´s video: "I feel like I have my future back!" Celebrating victory with Tokata Iron Eyes, 13 yr old water protector
[click to view]

LIVE in DC: Indigenous leaders and climate activists rally against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines
[click to view]

Company Arguments: Addressing Misconceptions About The Dakota Access Pipeline
[click to view]

Protesters occupy Standing Rock reservation, North Dakota (forms of protest)
[click to view]

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard
[click to view]

Official Website of Stand With Standing Rock
[click to view]

Action to DeFund DAPL
[click to view]

“We beg for your forgiveness”: Veterans join Native elders in celebration ceremony
[click to view]

Other comments:- Dakota is the tribal name of the Dakota Sioux, meaning "friendly" or "allied."
-“We do not own the land, the land owns us.”said a spiritual leader in North Dakota
-On the Dakota language, the word “oahe” signifies “a place to stand on.”
-Some slogans of the campaign are: "You can´t drink oil!" and " Water is Life! "
--“Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” said Chairman Mike Faith of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Meta information
Contributor:Grettel Navas, ENVJustice Project
Last update07/07/2020
Conflict ID:2668
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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