BISMARCK, N.D. — An American Indian tribe that has led opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline for more than two years has formally pledged its support for protests against three other pipeline projects.
The Standing Rock Sioux Council approved resolutions this month supporting efforts by other tribes to oppose the Enbridge Line 3 project in Minnesota, the Keystone XL pipeline in Montana and South Dakota, and the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana. The resolutions do not come with any promise of money or other aid but are a payback of sorts for other tribes' support of Standing Rock's struggle against Dakota Access.
"These are only to stand in solidarity with their fights," tribal spokeswoman Danielle Finn said.
Standing Rock led protests in 2016 and 2017 against Dakota Access, which is now moving oil from North Dakota to Illinois but is still the subject of a federal lawsuit spearheaded by the tribe. Thousands of people traveled to protest camps just outside of the reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border to support the tribe.
Standing Rock is formally backing the efforts of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Montana and the Cheyenne River Sioux in South Dakota to oppose TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline; the effort of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to thwart Enbridge Energy's plans to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota; and the effort of the United Houma Nation to oppose the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in southern Louisiana. That project is being developed by Dakota Access builder Energy Transfer Partners.
Tribes fear the pipeline projects will harm the environment, while developers maintain they are safe.