Despite Setback For Pipeline Project, NoDAPL Activists Wary

Dec 5, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline project has opponents cheering…but some Native American activists say the fight’s not over.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports from a rally in Eugene.  

Sara Billdt, at the noon rally held Monday, Dec. 5th in Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Originally, this was to be a support rally for the protesters camped near the pipeline site in North Dakota.  But given the latest news, the tone among the few dozen people was celebratory. Many say the “Water Protectors” have won over corporate interests.  

A musician sings of defeating the Dakota Access Pipeline while between 30-50 activists gather outside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Eugene office.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Sara Billdt of Eugene is Apache-Yaqui.  She helped organize this gathering outside the Army Corps offices.  She urges people to not get complacent.

“Everyone likes good news, and everyone likes to celebrate a victory...myself included", says Billdt.  

"But we have not won yet.” 

Daphne Singingtree, a medicinal healer of Standing Rock heritage, says Energy Transfer Partners is just biding its time until Donald Trump and his team assume power next month.

Daphne Singingtree, whose tribe is directly affected by any pipeline development on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“They seem pretty committed to supporting corporate interests and supporting ‘Big Oil’.  So this fight is still in process.” 

Both women say the encampment in North Dakota will stay. They add there’s a real need for food and winterized shelters to keep the thousands of protesters warm and safe.