The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council released a statement regarding the Dakota Access pipeline. The Tribal Council seeks to clarify its position on the defeating the Dakota Access pipeline.

It says it is important to educate the upcoming Administration the tribe’s perspective on why they don’t want the pipeline near its water.

Unfortunately, in recent weeks there have been rumors that the Standing Rock Sioux has entered into a secret deal with the owners of the pipeline. The statement seeks dispel those false rumors.

The Tribal Council states: “We are in no way ‘negotiating’ with the companies nor the administration. We are not giving into the proposed route and never will.”

Here is the complete statement released today:

Dear Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Members and Allies:

We would like to take this opportunity as a council to address our community and assess where we are in our efforts to defeat this pipeline.

We assure you that the council is fully aware and united in our efforts to do what is right for our people. We stand by our leadership as we begin the difficult task of developing new relationships with the incoming administration, with the goal of sharing our perspective. The concerns that are obvious to us are foreign to many, and we must try and educate and explain in the hopes that they understand, or at the very least grant us the benefit of the doubt. We will not win any arguments if we go in completely oppositional to this administration. Our only path forward to protecting our water is to spread awareness and be heard.

While tribal representatives have met with elected officials of both parties as well as companies involved in the pipeline battle, we are in no way “negotiating” with the companies nor the administration. We are not giving into the proposed route and never will. But we are using every social and political tool in our power to help those who may oppose us to work with us and not against us.

We are increasing pressure on the current administration to start the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process before the end of President Obama’s term. As soon it is announced, we will work to have scoping sessions as soon as possible to determine the area that will be examined. Please be assured that we continue to stand united against the completion of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. We must remain united and stay focused on our goal; water is life.”

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