March 13, 2012
STATEMENT TO TRANSCANADA CORPORATION
AND TO ALL COMMERCIAL CARRIERS
OF TAR SANDS OIL-RELATED EQUIPMENT
To Whom It May Concern:
Be advised that the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is sovereign territory under the jurisdiction of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
Be further advised that, through Resolution of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, the Oglala Lakota Nation has asserted its opposition and objection to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and the Oglala Lakota Nation will not tolerate the exploitation of Tribal lands, roads, or resources by TransCanada or any other corporate entity for the ultimate purpose of tar sands oil development or transportation.
On March 5, 2012, I was alerted that trucks of a tar sands oil company had been utilizing Reservation roads for several weeks to transport water tanks through our sovereign nation. The underlying purpose of these hazardous activities is a violation of natural law as well as a violation of our Tribal laws. Furthermore, these trucks cause significant, costly damage to our highways and create disturbances and hazards to our people. These oversized, overweight vehicles enjoy the benefit of our Tribal roads and do not pay any kind of usage fee to compensate for the damage they cause. It has since been brought to my attention that the Governor’s office rerouted these trucks through our lands within the Oglala Lakota Nation, which opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline, to allow the trucks to avoid fees they would pay had they used state roads.
This exploitation of the Oglala Oyate ends now.
As you are likely aware, concerned Lakotas gathered on Highway 44 at Wanblee, South Dakota, on March 5 as two unauthorized trucks hauling unusually large loads attempted to enter our sovereign Oglala lands. In defense of our homelands, and in protection of our sacred resources, those courageous individuals put themselves in harm’s way to prevent your industry from violating the will of the Oyate on our own sovereign land.
Although these particular trucks were eventually allowed to pass, be advised that future attempts to invade our land with your tools of genocide will not be tolerated. Legislative action will be taken to ensure the safety and protection of our people and our resources. Failure to comply with our Tribal, traditional, and custom laws shall result in strict and immediate consequences in accordance with the law.
In respect of Mother Earth and our Future Generations,
Tom Poor Bear, Vice President, Oglala Lakota Nation