Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, September 8, 2016

Contact: Kierán Suckling, (520) 275-5960,

Center for Biological Diversity Stands With
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Opposing Dakota Oil Pipeline

TUCSON, Ariz.— Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, released the following statement today in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in its fight to stop the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline and preserve its land and culture:

The Center for Biological Diversity stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and more than 150 American Indian nations opposing construction of the dangerous, unnecessary and monumentally disrespectful Dakota Access Oil Pipeline. The pipeline will worsen global warming, desecrate sacred lands essential to the Sioux Nation's history, culture and identity, and threaten the water supply of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Respecting the diversity of the Earth’s cultures and people is intrinsically connected to protecting its plants and animals. Ending the extinction, climate change and cultural oppression crises requires recognition and respect for the rights and unique cultures of indigenous peoples. In the United States and globally, they disproportionately suffer the land, air and water pollution costs of oil, gas, coal and uranium mining and transportation. This must end.

• We call on President Obama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cancel federal approval of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline.

• We call on North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple to investigate Dakota Access LLC for assaulting water protectors with attack dogs and pepper spray, and to ban all use of force and intimidation against the water protectors by Dakota Access and police authorities.

• We ask everyone to listen with an open, accepting heart to the words of LaDonna Bravebull Allard, historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:

This river holds the story of my entire life.

Look north and east now, toward the construction sites where they plan to drill under the Missouri River any day now, and you can see the old Sundance grounds, burial grounds, and Arikara village sites that the pipeline would destroy.

The U.S. government is wiping out our most important cultural and spiritual areas. And as it erases our footprint from the world, it erases us as a people. These sites must be protected, or our world will end, it is that simple. Our young people have a right to know who they are. They have a right to language, to culture, to tradition. The way they learn these things is through connection to our lands and our history.

If we allow an oil company to dig through and destroy our histories, our ancestors, our hearts and souls as a people, is that not genocide? 

We are the river, and the river is us.


The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Go back