Tribal Leaders and Chiefs Mark Independence Day with Opposition to Keystone XL

By Derrick Broze

A large gathering of tribal leaders met on July 4th to declare their opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

While Americans were celebrating the War on Terror, a growing surveillance and police state, the failed Drug War, mass incarceration, a legacy of colonization, and other American pastimes, tribal leaders and chiefs in North America used Independence Day to officially oppose the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

The project is a nearly completed 1,700-mile pipeline carrying toxic tar sands from Alberta, Canada to Houston and other Gulf Coast refineries before being primarily exported overseas. The pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day. It has been delayed and rerouted over environmental concerns and resistance from citizens losing their land through eminent domain.

While gathering in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Tribal leaders of the Great Sioux Nation, the Ponca Nation in Nebraska and Oklahoma, and the Blackfoot confederacy met with a delegation of Chiefs from First Nations across Canada. Each of these nations’ land will be affected by the completion of the Keystone XL.

The leaders of these sovereign nations met in support of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion and announced a new “cross-border” alliance to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The addition of the new tribes and first nations brings the count to over 130 first nations and Tribes who have signed the treaty declaring an opposition of four different pipelines. These pipelines include TransCanada’s Keystone XL, Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion through British Columbia and TransCanada’s Energy East.

“If you don’t think we’re nations, if you think we’re isolated remnants of a bygone era, just watch us exercise our sovereign right to protect our land and our people by stopping these pipeline abominations from threatening our water and our very future,” said Casey Camp-Horinek on behalf of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. “Today is not just about our independence as Nations, but also everyone’s much needed independence from the shackles of oil, and especially Keystone’s dirty tar sands oil.”

Last month a state judge in South Dakota affirmed a previous decision made by the Public Utilities Commission which approved of the pipeline construction crossing state lines. On Friday, ABC News reported that opponents of the pipeline may still appeal that decision.

First Nations leaders also met in Alberta, Canada to sign The Grizzly: A Treaty of Cooperation, Cultural Revitalization and Restoration, an Indigenous Treaty aimed at combating the delisting of the grizzly of Greater Yellowstone from the Endangered Species Act. The treaty was started by the Piikani Nation in Alberta and now has over 130 signatory First Nations and Tribes from across the continent. Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Chairman Brandon Sazue stated that the Great Sioux Nation and allied tribes would “fight to the end some of President Trump’s most grotesque actions, including illegally ramming through the Dakota Access Pipeline, trying to raise Keystone XL pipeline from the dead and just recently, trying to get away with delisting our sacred Grizzly bear from the Endangered Species List.”

It was President Trump, after all, who immediately taking office signed two executive orders which approved of the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Despite major opposition to these projects during the fall of 2016, the indigenous communities and nations seem to be one of the last remaining sources for opposition to these potentially environmentally destructive projects. This is because our First Nations and Tribes are still connected to the planet. We have not lost the powerful relationship to the planet, the elements, and all life, that so many people have relinquished in their pursuit of the modern world. Indigenous nations and resistance efforts around the world need the support of all those who value the health of this planet and the people it houses.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for and the founder of the Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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