Group of archaeologists asks President Obama to pause Dakota Access Pipeline construction

Published: Sep. 23, 2016 at 8:07 PM CDT
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Archaeologists from the State Historic Preservation Office cleared the Dakota Access Pipeline route of any historic sites, but more than 1,000 archaeologists across the country are calling for construction to stop, at least for now.

A new group is calling for Dakota Access to pause it's construction of the controversial pipeline.

More than 1,200 archaeologists from across the country sent a letter to President Obama, and three other Federal Agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, asking them to halt the project until a full environmental impact statement has been completed.

One of those who signed the letter, Board Chairmen of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Brenda Toineeta Pipestem says they want to see consultation with the tribe.

"The reason we signed on to this letter was because it's our understanding that the tribe has not been fully consulted. You know, there was no environmental impact statement done with actual consultation of the tribe on these lands," Pipestem.

US Senator John Hoevan says there has been consultation.

"When the tribe talked to me about the project, earlier, I contacted the Corps and asked the Corps, Col. John Henderson, who's the district director out of Omaha, to come up and meet with the Corps, the tribe, and consult with them,"

But Pipestem says the tribe is well within it's rights to fight the pipeline.

"The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is has every right to protect their land, their water, their cultural resources and their ancestrial graves," Pipestem.

The North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office completed it's inspections and analysis of the route before permits were issued and found no sites of cultural significance.

Today the The Departments of Army, Interior and Justice invited tribal leaders to Washington to discuss how more meaningful consultation can take place between the federal government and Native American tribes on infrastructure projects.