Native Americans unite to fight pipelines, including Keystone XL


A group of Native Americans has threatened to take physical action to stop the construction of three oil pipelines, claiming that the transport systems would take over their land and infringe upon their rights.

Leaders from ten Canadian and US indigenous groups gathered in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday to protest the construction of pipelines which would move tar sands oil from Canada to the US. These pipelines would run across the traditional land that is sacred to these Native Americans.

“Tar sands pipelines will not pass through (our) collective territories under any conditions or circumstances,” the tribes relayed at a press conference.

Phil Lane Jr., a hereditary chief from the Ihanktonwan Dakota Oyate in the state of South Dakota, said that indigenous groups from all across the US and Canada are coming together to protest the building of the pipelines that would destroy their sacred lands – and that they will physically stand in the way of their construction.

"Along with every single legal thing that can be done, there is direct action going on now to plan how to physically stop the pipelines," he said at the news conference following the gathering in Ottawa.

Canada has been financially struggling to cope with falling revenues as a result of pipeline bottlenecks. Oil and gas exports account for eight percent of Canadian GDP, and the new pipelines could boost the country’s economy and diversify exports.

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