A representative of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues stated that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has the right by law to have a say in the Dakota Access pipeline that thousands of tribal members and other protestors argue could disturb their sacred grounds and drinking water.
Alvaro Pop Ac, the forum’s chairman, made a statement to the U.S. to allow the tribe a “fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process to resolve this serious issue and to avoid escalation into violence and further human rights abuses.”
Failure to consult with the tribe violates the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Article 19 of the declaration says, “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”
Thousands of protestors from Native American tribes and other communities have gathered from around the nation to protest the Dakota Access pipeline that will run from the Bakken region in North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. The project has been on temporary halt due to lawsuits, arrests, and acts of civil disobedience.