Tribal Chairmen's Association meet to hash out plan of action regarding Keystone XL Pipeline
SLOAN, Iowa (KTIV) -
Working on a Keystone XL oil pipeline battle plan, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association met in Sloan, Iowa Thursday night.
Representing at the meeting is 16 Tribal Leaders, representing three states, all with one goal, protecting sacred burial ground and drinking water.
While Montana and South Dakota have signed off on the Keystone XL Pipeline, the final state where a permit is required is Nebraska.
"We think it is a real possibility that they not only reject a permit, but another option is to force Trans Canada to put Keystone 1 next to Keystone XL which would mean no new land would be taken out of production and no new water crossings would happen," said Joye Kleeb, Bold Nebraska.
Tribal leaders say they are strongest when they work together, and they have come together to form a legal and strategic plan of action.
"We have to be unified, that is important. In South Dakota, the permit has been approved, we appealed it to state court and lost but we are now going to appeal it to the supreme court. Whatever victories a tribe has is a victory for us all," said Harold Frazier.
This $8 billion battle has been going on for eight years, but it's not just tribal rights these leaders say they are fighting for.
"Not only for us but for 18 million people downstream, this is not just a native issue this is a human issue," said Joye Prawn, Indigenous Environment Network.
This group says nothing is worth the possible destruction to the environment.
The Public Service Commission will vote on the permit allowing for the Keystone XL Pipeline to come through Nebraska at the end of November.