Law 360 reported on August 24, 2016 Sioux Tribe Says ‘Cultural Survival’ At Stake In Pipeline Row, that “the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe urged a D.C. federal judge to block construction on the $3.8 billion crude oil pipeline slated to run through what it considers the tribe’s ancestral lands, calling the Dakota Access Pipeline a threat to its ‘cultural survival’ that was not adequately reviewed by the federal government before its approval”.
The tribe urged U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg to grant a preliminary injunction saying “it was important to hear from tribe members themselves about the importance of the various sites.”
Law 360 reported that the tribe argued that the pipeline’s route passes through ancestral lands, threatening burial grounds, sacred sites and other historically significant areas. The cultural surveys done for the project were done by out-of-state consultants and without the participation of the tribe, it said.
During the hearing, NAFUSA member William J. Leone of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, an attorney for intervenor defendant Dakota Access, insisted that those surveys were completed by “qualified archeologists” and subsequently shared with the tribes.
That the surveys were completely unsupervised is “simply not true,” Leone said.
Leone said it would be “horribly unfair” to the developers, laborers and their families to issue an injunction and “change the rules” at the last minute.