Dakota Access Pipeline project sparks protests across North America
The Student Association (SA) is moving to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as it works to stop the construction of the Direct Access Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline planned to run from North Dakota to Illinois.
At an SA board meeting on Sept. 19, a motion passed unanimously to issue a solidarity statement supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its fight against the Direct Access Pipeline. The motion was moved by Leslie Van Every, the SA’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit representative. The SA funds The Dialog.
The motion called the pipeline “a threat to the sacred land and water of Native communities and a disaster for the climate.”
Elaborating on this issue after the meeting, Van Every said she was happy that the motion was passed unanimously and that the SA will now work on issuing the solidarity statement. She also said that more efforts are being made to help the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
If she could, Van Every added, she would be there supporting the protests along with other indigenous students at George Brown.
Standing Rock Reservation is in North and South Dakota in the United States. The 1,172 mile-long pipeline was proposed by Dakota Access, LLC, in July 2014. The $3.7 billion project aims to connect oil fields in North Dakota across South Dakota and Iowa to other pipelines in Illinois. If built, the pipeline could transport more than 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The proposed pipeline route crosses ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Missouri River. The Missouri River is a major source of water for the community.
In August, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe took Dakota Access, LLC to court for an injunction which began a nationwide protest in support of the tribe, that has since garnered support from organizations across the globe.
A solidarity protest on Sept. 13 in Toronto went outside the world premiere of Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon, a film about the 2010 British Petroleum oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The demonstration blocked several streets in the downtown area, before concluding in Yonge and Dundas Square.