Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective

Yesterday I wrote about ceremony to stop the TMX pipeline. I intended to share some of my experiences related to ceremony to stop other pipelines. But I just received this news about the Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective and their efforts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

As Keystone XL pipeline (KXL) construction continues near our Cheyenne River Nation, youth organizers are leading the resistance! Last Friday, a group of young activists calling themselves “Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective” held an action to bring attention to the ongoing threat of KXL. Some were arrested, but they’ve now been released, thanks to the support of our tribal chairman, Harold Frazier. Over the coming weeks, the Lakota People’s Law Project will help these brave young leaders continue organizing in the community to keep the pressure on.

As you may know, the Trump administration recently lost a battle at the Supreme Court over KXL: in July, the justices upheld a Montana court’s injunction against KXL construction based on potential violations of the Endangered Species Act. But TC Energy, the Canadian company building KXL, is working hard to get around environmental protections and secure permits. There’s a good chance they will eventually succeed — if we don’t stop them. Biden has said that he will shut the pipeline down if elected, but since we don’t know what will happen in November, we must keep fighting. 

Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective is doing more than just organizing demonstrations. In recent days, it outed TC Energy for going, secretly, to several Cheyenne River Tribal Council members in a clandestine attempt to buy off the tribe. The oil company offered $22,000 annually to each tribal member to let the “zombie pipeline” pass through our treaty territory unmolested. But just as the Black Hills are not for sale, the Missouri River and the Ogallala Aquifer are not on offer to the highest bidder. KXL would put both at risk, and we won’t tolerate the destruction of our water systems. 

Instead, we will collaborate with Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective and the Indigenous Environmental Network to ramp up resistance to TC Energy and KXL. Mancamp construction continues just off our western border. West-end districts on my reservation like Cherry Creek and Bridger, closest to KXL’s intended path, are most vulnerable. We’ll hold events in those communities to keep the people activated against Big Oil, and together, we will protect the Cheyenne River Nation.

Wopila tanka — thank you for your solidarity!

Madonna Thunder Hawk
Cheyenne River Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project

Video: We’re teaming with the Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective and the Indigenous Environmental Network to organize the Cheyenne River Reservation against KXL.

KXL: Protesting at the Cheyenne River Nation

We’re organizing with the Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective and the Indigenous Environmental Network to oppose KXL after TC Energy approached several Cheyenne River Tribal Council members in an attempt to buy them off.

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