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Standing Ground At Standing Rock

Inside Energy is working on a documentary about the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy and tribal sovereignty issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux. Does the current system of tribal consultation work for tribes? Does it work for energy infrastructure projects? Stay tuned for a full treatment of these issues. In the meantime, here’s a short look at some of the concerns from both sides.

A section of the Dakota Access pipeline awaits construction.

What’s Next For Dakota Access?

On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. After months of protest and months of construction, parties with vested interests in the pipeline are wondering what’s next. For thousands of Native Americans and climate activists who have joined the Standing Rock Sioux’s protest against the pipeline, and are camped out in blizzard conditions, the question is — should they leave or should they stay? At the same time, the oil industry and legal experts are trying to make sense of the decision and what it means for the longterm project’s fate.

Jacob Brooks of Ann Arbor, MI works on one of the many "tarpees" erected in the camp, a winter dwelling developed by Paul Cheyok'ten Wagner.

Dakota Access Protest Camp Faces Winter And Evacuation Orders

Protesters have been camped out on federal land at the Dakota Access construction site in North Dakota for months, and now winter has arrived, dumping almost two week of snow on the encampment the last week of November. The winter storm hit just before news that president-elect Donald Trump indicated he supports completion of the pipeline.

Late afternoon light illuminates a portion of an encampment called the Oceti Sakowin Camp near from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in southcentral North Dakota on Nov. 19, 2016.

Standing Rock Called A “Spiritual War” For Native American Protestors

Standing Rock Sioux chairman Dave Archambault and other protest organizers have said they plan to stay at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota and continue with protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. This comes after the tribe received a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that said all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to public access Dec. 5 for “safety concerns.”

Lake Sakakawea lies at the heart of the Fort Berthold reservation.

While One Tribe Fights Oil, Another Cautiously Embraces It

While the Standing Rock Sioux fights the Dakota Access Pipeline, a different tribal nation 150 miles up the Missouri River has already welcomed oil development onto its land. But development comes with risks and a responsibility to protect the environment.