Standing Rock Chairman: 'ETP and the DAPL have failed to protect water and people'

Protesters have been attempting to stop the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline for months. (Photo: MGN / Democracy Now / YouTube -- Sept 9, 2016)

MORTON COUNTY, ND - Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault released the following statement Sunday morning on what he calls regulatory racism.

"Government officials continue to ignore the factual record: ETP and the DAPL have failed to protect water and people, and repeatedly cut environmental corners with the knowing aid and comfort of state machinery controlled by the governor of North Dakota. The governor and ETP are willfully ignoring a common-sense federal directive to halt construction until the project is reviewed for its true environmental impacts.

This pipeline was rerouted towards our tribal nations when other citizens of North Dakota rightfully rejected it in the interests of protecting their communities and water. We seek the same consideration as those citizens. It’s disappointing to see our state and federal officials advance their corporate, pro-Big Oil energy platform here in North Dakota at the expense of human health, safety and tribal sovereignty. Our tribal nations give this state its name.

Both the government and private sector enlisted and sanctioned dangerous and dehumanizing tactics through a taxpayer-funded, militarized law enforcement with documented human rights abuses. The aggressive acts of these forces have caused severe injuries and endangered the safety of thousands of peaceful protectors who share our goal of protecting the water.

We don’t have weapons. We have people and prayer. We have civil rights and tribal rights. And for now, we have our water. The announcement that Amnesty International wants to observe actions of the United States and the State of North Dakota alone should give us cold comfort, since the civil rights of thousands are ignored.

We stand with our brothers and sisters of more than 300 tribal nations, the citizens of North Dakota and the hundreds of thousands of American citizens and allied organizations from around America and the world who share our goal of protecting the water. Water is life."