Resolution Regarding Dakota Access Pipeline

Image: 2016-10-25 This is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Give attribution to: Fibonacci Blue
Why did the Standing Rock Sioux say they were opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline? Did their reasons perhaps go beyond those stated in the resolution? How do you feel about the pipeline traversing Indian lands and potentially damaging cultural sites? We must transport petroleum somehow, and statistically, pipelines are safer than transporting oil by truck or train. Are there alternatives?
Can you see any relationship between the protest at Standing Rock and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868? What about to the occupation of Alcatraz (See Alcatraz Proclamation)?

No related resources


In 2015, Energy Transfer Partners began construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, designed to carry petroleum from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline would cross under the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The construction would destroy ancestral burial grounds and other important Sioux cultural and historical sites on lands promised by treaty to the Sioux. Should the pipeline rupture, the resulting pollution would contaminate not only the local water supply but the entire Missouri River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. This document is a portion of the Standing Rock Sioux tribal nation’s resolution in opposition to the pipeline.

In April 2016, young people from Standing Rock, supported by Native Americans from surrounding communities, established a “water protectors” camp to block construction of the pipeline. Using the slogans “Water Is Life” and “#NoDAPL,” they rallied support on social media. The encampments eventually swelled to several thousand people from all across the country and abroad. The actions of heavily armed police in October and November 2016 drew international media attention. In December, President Barack Obama ordered a stop to the project while the Army Corps of Engineers reconsidered the environmental impact. President Donald Trump reversed the decision.

The Dakota Access Pipeline was completed in April 2017 and began delivering oil. A U.S. District Court judge enjoined the pipeline in July 2020, ordering it shut down and drained, but the ordered was reversed on appeal. The pipeline continues to operate.

The water protector protest between April and December 2016 was the most galvanic event among Native Americans since the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973.

—Jace Weaver

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Resolution No. 406-15, September 2, 2015,

. . . WHEREAS, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was established as a permanent homeland for the Hunkpapa, Yanktonai, Cuthead and Blackfoot bands of the Great Sioux Nation; and . . .

WHEREAS, the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens public health and welfare on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation; and WHEREAS, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe relies on the waters of the life-giving Missouri River for our continued existence, and the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a serious risk to Mni Sose and to the very survival of our Tribe; and

WHEREAS, the horizontal direction drilling in the construction of the pipeline would destroy valuable cultural resources of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; and

WHEREAS, the Dakota Access Pipeline violates Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty1 which guarantees that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe shall enjoy the “undisturbed use and occupation” of our permanent homeland, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation; . . .

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council hereby strongly opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council call upon the Army Corps of Engineers to reject the river crossing permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. . . .

  1. 1. This document may be found within the collection.
Teacher Programs

Conversation-based seminars for collegial PD, one-day and multi-day seminars, graduate credit seminars (MA degree), online and in-person.

Our Core Document Collection allows students to read history in the words of those who made it. Available in hard copy and for download.