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On March 5, 2012, several residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation learned that two oversize trucks hauling wide, heavy loads bound for the tar sands region in Canada were about to enter sovereign Oglala territory.
Outraged that a corporation intended to use Oglala lands to transport materials that would be used in the very desecration of Mother Earth that the Nation opposed, individuals ranging from the very young to 92-year-old Elder Marie Brushbreaker Randall gathered near the Reservation border to turn the trucks away. Ms. Randall, or Oyate Aketapi Win, had sought and gained the support of the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council less than a month earlier. On February 12, 2012, the Treaty Council passed Resolution of the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council Supporting Our Elders in Opposing the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The Lakota people never consented to the construction of the pipeline through Lakota treaty lands; “such malevolent use of Lakota Treaty Lands by TransCanada would violate the traditional law, the natural law, the traditional beliefs, and the sovereignty of the Great Sioux Nation.”
Peacefully occupying the Reservation road, the People stood their ground in defense of Mother Earth and to protect the future of their children. Citing the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s and the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council’s express opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and their adoption of the Mother Earth Accord, the group directed the truckers to turn their vehicles around and vacate the sovereign Oglala land. Although the truckers stated that they did not work for TransCanada or Keystone, they did admit that the large water tanks they were hauling were destined for a refinery in Canada. Upon information and belief, those trucks were carrying overweight loads of equipment that would be used in the processing of tar sands oil - tar sands oil that would likely be transported through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline if it is built.