“You’re not welcome here… We’ve said no from day one.”
And with these firm words the TransCanada representatives were kicked out of Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation last week. The seemingly aloof TransCanada officials showed up at the Tribal Office in Eagle Butte, South Dakota in an attempt to win the tribe over to the pipeline, but were met with a swift, firm response. Robin LeBeau, Cheyenne River Sioux Councilwoman for District 5, saw them in the parking lot and promptly told them off.
The encounter was caught on video:
“I don’t want no TransCanada people here…I’m going to fight hard and if I find anyone else here I’m going to bring more people in abundance to tell you guys to leave.”
“This pipeline is the most destructive pipeline. You’re going to rape, steal and destroy everything that is for us….everything, our land, our culture, our water.”
And what do the TransCanada reps suggest the Tribe do with these valid concerns? Write a letter to the CEO. What’s his name, again? Their response:
“I don’t even know the guy’s name….. um…they have a website…”
Really?! Thats the best these guys can do? Like writing a letter to Russ Girling is going to convince this multinational corporation to stop building their multi-billion dollar project and respect the lives of indigenous peoples. This corporation has demonstrated numerous times that they only care about their profits and will bully and bankrupt anyone who stands in their way.
Tribal members know it. They aren’t buying TransCanada’s false promises and understand the threat that toxic tar sands pose to their Sacred Water, burial grounds, and historic landmarks. The Keystone XL pipeline would cut right through their Treaty Territory and some of their most Sacred Sites. (You can watch part 2 of the video here.)
The last several months has seen the indigenous resistance along the proposed KXL Northern segment continue to grow. Just this last week the Native News Network reported that the National Congress of American Indians, “the nation’s oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country,” publicly released a statement of opposition to Keystone XL and criticized the State Department’s flawed “Environmental Impact Statement”.
Additionally, the Moccasins on the Ground Tour of Resistance will travel to Cheyenne River in mid-June to continue to build this resistance and unite the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota peoples against this toxic intruder.
By now Russ Girling shouldn’t need a handwritten letter to know the message coming from Red Nations along the pipeline route: “Go Away!”