Midwives At Standing Rock Aren’t Going Anywhere

The Establishment
The Establishment
Published in
6 min readDec 19, 2016

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By Katie Toth

We arrive at Oceti Sakowin camp, next to Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and about two miles north of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, at a moment of transition. It’s Thursday, December 8, and just five days ago, the U.S. Army denied Energy Transfer Partners the easement they needed to keep building a pipeline through the sacred land of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

It remains a temporary victory. The corps will need to complete an environmental impact statement before deciding whether the pipeline, slated to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in the north to existing pipelines in Illinois, can continue. Some on the ground fear a Trump administration will do all it can to speed up the statement or push the pipeline through. Meanwhile, a brutal snowstorm is expected to blow through the Dakotas, and by the time we arrive, many have been encouraged to leave before the weather gets even worse.

“We need to go home,” says David Archambault, the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, in a letter after the easement was denied. “A new administration will not easily be able to reverse Sunday’s historic decision. . . . This decision is everything we had asked for: a non-granting of the easement, initiating an Environmental Impact Study, and suggestive of a reroute. We got it!”

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The Establishment
The Establishment

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