Out of spotlight the, tribes keep fighting Dakota Access Pipeline

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A dog stands guard outside of a community center where the Fort Laramie treaty riders will sleep for a night on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Bridger, South Dakota, U.S., April 15, 2018. When the riders stayed overnight the local community came to the community center to feed them dinner and breakfast the next morning. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
One of Beatrice Lookinghorse's granddaughters, Jaylynn Weasel, rides a horse around her home on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 29, 2018. Jaylynn Weasel is one of several grandchildren and children to live in Beatrice Lookinghorse's trailer. It is common on the Cheyenne River Reservation to have many generations and extended family living in the same house or trailer. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Duane Blindman, 64, Oglala tribe, from Slim Buttes on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation poses for a photograph in Van Tassel, Wyoming, U.S., April 25, 2018. The area of Slim Buttes is located in the south-west portion of South Dakota and these riders joined the group as the ride passed through their area. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Roderick Dupris (C on a white horse), 45, from Bridger on the Cheyenne River Reservation rides with other Fort Laramie treaty riders along Van Tassel Road in Torrington, Wyoming, U.S., April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
A group of Lakota horseback riders make their way across a snowy field on the second day of their Fort Laramie treaty ride on the Cheyenne River Reservation near Howes, South Dakota, U.S., April 15, 2018. When the treaty riders are on native reservations they can ride backcountry (on a path through a natural environment) but off the reservations they ride on roads. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Jayden Lookinghorse, riding his horse, stands on top of a hill at Arvol Lookinghorse's home on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 30, 2018. Parts of Arvol Lookinghorse's land are considered to be very sacred and to be the spiritual center of the Lakota Nation. Arvol Lookinghorse is the "keeper of the sacred bundle" a sacred collection of artifacts for the Lakota people. Many Lakota people and other pilgrims come to Arvol Lookinghorse's land for religious ceremonies and guidance. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Harold Frazier, (C) Chairman of the Cheyenne River Reservation wears his Lakota headdress and holds a staff just outside of Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 27, 2018. Frazier said in his speech at Fort Laramie, "I carry this staff for Cheyenne River Lakota Akichita (Lakota for relatives or people) to remind me to be a warrior for our people." REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
A herd of horses runs through a river near Arvol Lookinghorse's home on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 30, 2018. Arvol Lookinghorse owns a large herd of horses that he allows to run free on his land. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Roderick Dupris, 45, from Bridger on the Cheyenne River Reservation shakes hands with students at the public school adjacent to the Wall rodeo grounds where the riders have their camp in Wall, South Dakota, U.S., April 18, 2018. The treaty riders spent an hour visiting kindergarten students and answering their questions. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
The Fort Laramie Treaty riders take a break after arriving at the Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Angel Rose Lookinghorse, sitting with her younger cousins, Linda Lookinghorse and Maryann Lara, as she speaks to her brother, Jayden Lookinghorse, riding his horse, on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Mahto In The Woods jumps over a small creek on foot while his cousin Jayden Lookinghorse jumps over on his horse on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
One of Beatrice Lookinghorse's granddaughters, Rozelynn Whitebull, plays near an abandoned house in the backyard of Beatrice Lookinghorse's trailer on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
People listen to Harold Frazier (not pictured), chairman of the Cheyenne River Reservation, speak at the Honoring the Spirit event at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming, U.S., April 28, 2018. The event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Fort Laramie treaty. "We are human beings like they are. We need to be treated with respect. We have every right to live to be free in our lands. We face that coming down... can't go through there have to have a permit. That's not our laws, this is our land and we should be able to ride anywhere we want," said Frazier during his speech. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
A small herd of buffalo grazes near the Sage Creek campground in the Badlands National Park outside of Wall, South Dakota, U.S., April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Lucille Contreras, one of the Fort Laramie treaty riders, from the Pine Ridge Reservation poses for a photo in the tribal area on the grounds of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Tatanka Itancan Lone Eagle, 15, from Bridger on the Cheyenne River Reservation, hugs his horse at the end of the day during the Fort Laramie treaty ride in Scenic, South Dakota, U.S., April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Seth Eastman from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe sleeps in the back of a truck in the tribal area on the grounds of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 29, 2018. Eastman lives on the Lake Traverse Reservation, on the eastern border of South Dakota where two bands of the larger Sioux tribe are federally recognized that being Sisitunwan and Wahpetunwan or Sisseton and Wahpeton Dakota. The writing on the truck window reflects his identity. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Stephanie Big-Eagle rides with other Fort Laramie treaty riders along Bombing Range Rd. on the Pine Ridge Reservation near Scenic, South Dakota, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
The Fort Laramie treaty riders come off the trail and ride past a housing cluster on the Pine Ridge Reservation as the sun sets in Oglala, South Dakota, U.S., April 21, 2018. The forward most rider carries a sacred staff. Tradition dictates that all the riders ride behind the person carrying the sacred staff. There may be more than one sacred staff as people might bring a staff to represent their community. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Ivan Lookinghorse (C) and other Fort Laramie treaty riders meet in the kitchen of the Rockyford School gymnasium on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Rockyford, South Dakota, U.S., April 20, 2018. "Understand that we, as a people, we have been in poverty, we have been in depression, we have been Christianised, we have been boarding schooled, our language has been taken away from us, but we are on our way back to who we once were," Lookinghorse said. "We are standing up on our two feet," he continued "We are taking our place in the world, the protectors of the Grandmother Earth." REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Fort Laramie treaty riders and support crew roll out some hay for the horses to eat at the end of the day in Scenic, South Dakota, U.S., April 19, 2018. Horses in Lakota culture are considered sacred. The Lakota people say that the horses eat before they do because the horses carry them. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
One of Arvol Lookinghorse's horses, ridden by the Fort Laramie treaty riders, is put in a trailer for transport back to Green Grass, South Dakota in the tribal area on the grounds of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Colonel John Hudson confers with another member of the Army Corps of Engineers at a meeting between Lakota people and the Army Corps of Engineers at the community center in the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 29, 2018. The Cheyenne River tribal members asked the Army Corps of Engineers to meet in Green Grass instead of at the tribal headquarters in Eagle Butte because Green Grass is their spiritual center. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Fronda White, 10, from the Standing Rock Reservation, one of the Fort Laramie treaty riders, laughs after failing to get up onto her horse in the tribal area on the grounds of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Phil Little Thunder from the Rosebud Reservation wears his ceremonial outfit in the tribal area on the grounds of the Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 29, 2018. The tribal area was a large field organized into smaller camps according to a tribe, like the Oglala camp, the Rosebud camp and the Cheyenne River camp among others. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Cody James Lookinghorse (L) and Maryann Lara (R) play in front of the home of Beatrice Lookinghorse on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., April 30, 2018. Beatrice Lookinghorse is related to several of the Fort Laramie treaty riders who live with her. Beatrice also raises other children from the extended Lookinghorse family. "I promised my father that none of his grandkids would ever be put in the (foster care) system," she said. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
A horse is decorated with a handprint before heading into the town of Fort Laramie just outside of Fort Laramie, Wyoming, U.S., April 27, 2018. Traditionally, horses were painted before a battle to bless the horse and its rider. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Two people taking part in the Fort Laramie treaty ride put up a teepee for an overnight stop in Fort Robinson outside of Crawford, Nebraska, U.S., April 23, 2018. Stephanie Keith: "The raising of teepees along the ride was unusual. Normally, people slept either in the back of a horse trailer, in their car, in a tent, in a provided shelter like a community centre and on some occasions, in a local motel." REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Dave Swallow (C), an elder and headsman of the Oglala Lakota Nation stands with Ivan Lookinghorse (R) and others on the Pine Ridge Reservation to discuss treaties and the treaty ride in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, U.S., April 22, 2018. "We may be poor in the white man's way but we are not poor in the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota ways because we are connected to this earth and connected to above and everywhere," Swallow explained. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
The Fort Laramie treaty riders travel along Van Tassel Road past railroad tracks in Torrington, Wyoming, U.S., April 26, 2018. All of the land the treaty riders passed through from Cheyenne River to Fort Laramie was a part of the original treaty land. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Fort Laramie treaty rider, Austin Warrior, 11, and his sister Delores Warrior, 19 months, both from Pine Ridge Reservation are covered with burning sage smoke in Harrison, Nebraska, U.S., April 24, 2018. Dawn and dusk found riders and horses in a circle waiting to be "smudged." A person would pass with sage, a sacred herb thought to cleanse, smoking in a coffee can be lashed to a pole. Everyone pulled the smoke over themselves and the horses. Afterward a prayer, maybe a song. If it was morning, the riders would set out single file behind one rider carrying a sacred staff. At night, horses were corralled before dinner. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Jake Frazier (C wearing blue), circles up after a day of riding, along with other Fort Laramie treaty riders, in Harrison, Nebraska, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Some of the Fort Laramie Treaty riders spend the day helping Arvol Lookinghorse brand some of his horses in Arvol's corral on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Wyatt Grey is seen by the light of a campfire during an overnight stop for the Fort Laramie treaty ride in Harrison, Nebraska, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
A truck is seen through a window at the Eagle Butte motel as it drives on the main east-west road in a snowstorm on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Maske Ahwe Chu Kinya Plenty Chief, 14, from Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation (top) wrestles with some of the Fort Laramie treaty riders as they play games together in their communal camp in Harrison, Nebraska, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Cody James Lookinghorse sits in his Aunt's trailer on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 28, 2018. Cody James Lookinghorse is being raised by his Aunt Beatrice Lookinghorse. "I promised my father that none of his grandkids would ever be put in the (foster care) system," she said. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
Beatrice Lookinghorse sits with two of her grandchildren, Linda Lookinghorse and Cody James Lookinghorse, in the backyard of her home on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Green Grass, South Dakota, U.S., May 28, 2018. Beatrice Lookinghorse is related to several of the Fort Laramie treaty riders who live with her. Beatrice also raises other children from the extended Lookinghorse family. "I promised my father that none of his grandkids would ever be put in the (foster care) system," she said. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith 
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Aug 2 (Reuters) - Native American tribes that tried to block the Dakota Access oil pipeline during a months-long standoff with authorities in North Dakota more than a year ago are carrying on their fight in federal court, in what they contend is a symbol of their ongoing struggle for tribal sovereignty.

"People think Standing Rock has come and gone," said Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, a spokeswoman for the Standing Rock Sioux, referring to the sight of the protests. "But we will continue this fight until we are heard and the world knows what happened to us."

The pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), has been operational since June 2017, after President Donald Trump granted its permit over the objections of tribes and environmentalists fearful that it would pollute a waterway sacred to the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux.

The pipeline approval, part of Trump’s desire to increase domestic energy production, distressed Native people in the United States and Canada who were concerned that it discounted indigenous rights.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne Sioux sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers soon after Trump ordered it to approve the pipeline, arguing that the tribes had not been properly consulted.

The Army Corps of Engineers is involved with U.S. military construction projects around the world and also advises civil engineering activities, such as dredging America's waterways and cleaning up hazardous or toxic sites.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., is weighing whether the Corps adequately considered effects on the tribes before approving the pipeline. He is expected to rule by Aug. 10.

The Army Corps did not respond to a request for comment, but it has previously said that it worked diligently to meet obligations to tribes.

The tribes have expressed hope that Boasberg will suspend operations on the pipeline. They have said that they are prepared to appeal if he does not.

ETP declined to comment, but it has repeatedly said the pipeline would be safely operated.

The 1,172-mile (1,886-km) pipeline was built to move crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken shale fields to a refining and transport hub in Patoka, Illinois.

"We know we are going to fight this to the very end,” said Standing Rock's Finn.

 

LARAMIE AND A TREATY

Opposition to the pipeline played a central role in last spring's gathering of tribes at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to mark the 150th anniversary of a peace treaty between the Sioux Nation and the United States.

Under the treaty, the federal government recognized the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory as part of the Great Sioux Reservation and hostilities ended between the Sioux and white settlers.

The Sioux contend the pipeline was built on land they never agreed to give up.

In 1868, their land included most of South Dakota and parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. It has shrunken to several smaller reservations in the region.

The April meeting in Laramie was the first time since the Standing Rock protests of 2016 and 2017 that all seven bands of the Great Sioux Nation were together. Many veterans of the Standing Rock protests were there.

Members of the tribes rode hundreds of miles on horseback to get to Laramie, passing through tiny communities like Green Grass, South Dakota, the spiritual center of the Lakota People on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation.

Tribal leaders expressed disappointment that no senior members of the Trump administration were at Fort Laramie to commemorate the milestone for Indian country.

Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux, said the convocation was a reminder for Native Americans that the federal government had fallen short of its agreements under the Laramie Treaty including by approving the Dakota Access pipeline.

"They (the United States government) ought to be ashamed of themselves," Frazier said. "They have a moral obligation to uphold the honor of the Great Sioux Nation."

Ivan Lookinghorse, a medicine man from the Cheyenne River Reservation and an organizer of the ride to Laramie, said the tribes intended to use the momentum from that gathering to stay unified as they gear up to fight other projects that they maintain threaten their wellbeing.

"We are going to keep it going, keep organizing meetings and find a way to be able to take care of the health and welfare of our people, and preserve land and water," he said.

Related photo essay at https://reut.rs/2ABSaIH

Related graphics package at https://tmsnrt.rs/2M81SU5

(Reporting by Stephanie Keith in Green Grass, South Dakota Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington, D.C. Editing by Frances Kerry, Jonathan Oatis, Toni Reinhold)

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