Local Seneca Nation reacts to pipeline decision

Posted at 10:47 PM, Dec 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 12:20:45-05

The Seneca Nation is conducting peace walks in their Allegany and Cattaraugus Territories to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Seneca Nation President, Todd Gates, told media it was a win overall for Native people, but it will be an issue they "need to stay on top of." Gates also issued the following statement:

"The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to honor the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux is a victory for all Native people.  The peaceful protest at Standing Rock displayed not only the solidarity of all Native people, but also strong support from non-Natives as well. Despite excessive force and treatment that was in clear violation of their civil rights, the peaceful protestors and the water protectors bravely stood strong in defense of what is right and sacred. We honor their determination and pray for their safety. Above all, today's decision underscores that the rights of all Native people, the protection of our lands and the lawfulness of our treaties are sacrosanct and must be honored above corporate greed and other interests that look to diminish or destroy our sovereignty."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now denying a permit for the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline in North Dakota.

The company building it wanted to tunnel the pipeline under a lake, but's that's now on hold.

That decision is a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe's water source and cultural sites.