Tahoe Standing Rock supporters celebrate Dakota Access Pipeline decision
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Just one day after the Tahoe for Standing Rock benefit concert raised nearly $13,000 for the tribe, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would look for alternative routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Dec. 4 announcement was met with celebration — and some apprehension — by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its supporters.
Though the Army said it would not grant the easement for the pipeline to go under the Missouri River — the tribe’s primary source of drinking water — Energy Transfer Partners reasserted its commitment to completing the project without rerouting.
“The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency,” the company stated in a release.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a press release that the tribe is “grateful” for this “historic decision.”
“We hope that Kelcy Warren, Governor Dalrymple, and the incoming Trump administration respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point,” said Archambault.
“When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes.”
Tahoe for Standing Rock benefit concert co-organizer and North Shore musician Joaquin Fioresi said that despite the announcement, the grassroots group plans to “stay on top of the issue.”
The benefit concert put on by over 100 volunteers from around the lake was attended by an estimated 500 people, and raised around $13,000 for the Standing Rock Tribe.
Roughly “three truck-loads” of winter gear for Standing Rock were collected at the concert, which also featured prayers and speeches from Washoe Tribe members, indigenous chants, a raffle and an art auction.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Army’s decision, and the changing federal administration, many protestors have opted to continue camping along the river in North Dakota and will need the extra supplies.
Locally, Fioresi said the group that came together in support of Standing Rock is ready to lend a hand to other “water protectors” around the world.
“The concert was so wrapped up in sacredness. People were crying and moved to tears by the beauty and harmony of the event,” said Fioresi. “This isn’t going to just end right here.”
The group is now called Tahoe Water Protectors, in order to open the movement up for championing other water-related issues.
“I see us as a driving force for all kinds of good,” explained Fioresi. “This movement is taking on the identity as Tahoe Water Protectors. Raising the table of consciousness and awareness. Grounded in direct action and support for the common good of all who need help in preserving their sacred waters.”
“We have a lot of enthusiastic people on board and a good core of organizers. We’re not going to leave,” added Fioresi.