On Dec. 5, 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers declared the rerouting of the Dakota Access pipeline, which had been planned to run directly through the Sioux tribe land, according to CNN News. Protesters, both tribe members and environmentalists alike, rejoiced at the announcement after weeks of protest.
The plan for the pipeline to impede the land of the Sioux tribe came with backlash. For months, protesters, tribe members, politicians like Jill Stein, and even celebrities like Shailene Woodley, set up camps on the construction site in resistance. Former presidential candidate Jill Stein, a member of the Green Party, was charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief on Sept. 7 for supposedly spray painting construction equipment at the construction site, said CBS News.
However, this does not mean that the plans for the pipeline will be renounced all together. The previous plans had the pipeline running underneath the Missouri River, which is the primary water source of the Sioux tribe, according to TIME magazine. Environmentalist are up in arms about the potential threat that the pipeline posed to the water source. The British Petroleum (BP) oil spill of 2010 left people weary to any sort of drilling and new pipelines that could potentially wreak havoc the environment the way the spill did to the Gulf of Mexico. The previous plan for the Dakota Access Pipeline would leave the Missouri River exposed and unprotected if a spill were to happen.
In terms of the Sioux tribe, the members felt violated by the pipeline as it ran through their preserve. Taking a legal stand, the tribe sued the Army Corps of Engineers for violating the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act. This case continues to be an ongoing battle as construction still carries on according to TIME magazine.
The Dakota Access Pipeline poses a threat to the environment, however, the reroute of it away from the Missouri River is a victory for the Sioux tribe.