By COURTNEY BECK
The Keystone XL Pipeline being built in North Dakota has raised controversy recently with what some say is a lack of respect for Native Americans.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is the reservation whose home lies south of the pipeline’s charted land. According to the New York Times, the 1,170-mile long oil pipeline is supposed to run across ranches and under the Missouri River.
The Sioux tribe has expressed concern for their home land- mostly due to if the pipeline were to have a spill/ leak, it could have disastrous for the Sioux tribes’ lively hood. Because of this, the tribe has asked a judge to halt construction. Ruling on this matter could take until September 9th for a decision on whether to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to move forward with the construction, or grant an injunction that would put a hold on the projects start of construction.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, along with many other Native Americans have been gathering to protest the Dakota Access pipeline since April.
Not only is the controversy bringing large numbers of the American Indian community together to protest, but has also sparked the attention of citizens all throughout the nation. The protestors have taken a temporary home, protesting in a field belonging to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, according the Times report.
Each day since they have taken up camp in the field, the group marches a mile up a highway to a construction site where prep work is being done for the pipeline.
For being a “peaceful” protest, reports were made that there have been impassioned confrontations with local law enforcement officers and construction workers. As a result, twenty people have been arrested, and some protesters are in the process of being sued by the pipelines company Energy Transfer Partners. ETP is claiming that the protesters have threatened and intimidated contractors and were blocking work at the site. Though the protesters’ actions are raising concern about taking the protest too far, their actions are interrupting the future construction of the pipeline. The construction of the line has been put on hold, giving a little more time for the American Indians to plead their case and protect their home.