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Despite Setback For Pipeline Project, NoDAPL Activists Wary

Brian Bull

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.  

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.  

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
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.

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.

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

“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.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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