Sioux Tribe President Says Passing Keystone Pipeline Is ‘An Act Of War’ Against His People

Cyril Scott, the President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, says that congressional approval of the Keystone XL pipeline would be “an act of war against our people.”

The House of Representatives just passed a measure last week to fast track the project. Scott says the Keystone pipeline would cut through the “sovereign nation” of the South Dakota tribe, reports RT.

“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands. We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation boarders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people,” Scott said after the House of Representatives vote.

The Senate lacked one vote on Tuesday to have the necessary number of votes to approve construction of the pipeline. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said after the vote that the project would be back for a vote in January.

Scott says if the Keystone pipeline is approved, his people will resist.

“We’re going to do everything within our powers to protect our homelands, our people, and as I said, our children and grandchildren – your children and your grandchildren,” Scott said.

Scott says that the Rosebud Sioux have been protesting in a spirit camp for the past seven months

“Most of all, people don’t understand the Ogallala Aquifer is the second biggest water aquifer in the world. It supplies five or six states with water in the United States, and its level in some places is only six feet underground,” Scott said.

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The Keystone XL pipeline would be buried only four feet underground, and Scott raises concerns about leaks.

“The aquifer collects three percent of all rainfall. Every hundred gallons of tar sand oils is going to take a couple hundred gallons of chemically treated water in that pipe to come down – and when that break happens we are going to receive three percent into the aquifer, and it is going to poison your children and our children,” said Scott.

Scott makes it clear that the “war” he and his tribe are willing to declare is not a physical one, but a legal one reports Thinkproggresive.org.

“When I was elected and took my oath of office, I said I would protect the next seven generations. I have that obligation not only as president, but as a warrior of the tribe.”