The Dakota Access Pipeline project, a proposed 1,172 mile pipeline to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, became the subject of protest and growing recognition this year when members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribal nation called attention to it, later filing suit against the Army Corps of Engineers. The lawsuit and protests focused on the pipeline’s impacts to the environment, culturally significant and sacred sites, and treaty rights. All of these are aspects of Native sovereignty. And although the courts decided there was no basis for halting the project, three Federal agencies voluntarily withdrew support and permits.
This panel will present the various perspectives at stake in the DAPL case, from historical, legal, environmental, cultural, and personal viewpoints. How does this case speak to the state of American Indian sovereignty today? Does Federal ambivalence indicate an admission that Native/state relations require attention? What is at stake for Standing Rock and all Native nations?