Pope Francis Shows Implicit Support For Native Americans in Dakota Access Pipeline Conflict
Feb 17, 2017 02:17 AM EST
Pope Francis stated his support implicitly for indigenous people and culture to keep their ancestral rights. He met the Sioux Indians representatives on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and endorsed the wrangle of the native Americans in the Dakota Access pipeline dispute.
Meeting between Pope Francis and representative of the American Indians was held during the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome, The Guardian. The forum was held from Feb. 10 to 13 and was organized as an annual event of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Pope Francis did not specifically mentioned the Dakota Access pipeline, but according to The Independent , the Pontiff used the strong and clear language to address the conflict between the economic development and the rights of the indigenous people.
Speaking in Spanish, the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church cited the text in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “The right to prior and informed consent should always prevail.”
Dakota Access pipeline, also known as the Bakken pipeline is the underground oil pipeline that stretched along the 1,172-mile distance, connecting Bakken shale oil fields in North Dakota and the oil tanks in Patoka, Illinois. Although the project has received full federal authorizations, including from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 after conducting an environmental impact assessment, but environmental groups insisted the project endangered the environment.
Furthermore, the groups has organized the Standing Rock American Indian tribes to oppose the project. The objection was raised due to the concern of the pipeline route that very close to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North and South Dakota.
Opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline has drawn international attention. The opposition has also filed petitions to U.S. Army Corps of Engineer to seek for injunctions of the project. However, the Corps of Engineer granted permission for the project to pass Lake Tahoe, the fourth largest man-made water reservoir in America.
Watch the report from euronews regarding meeting between the Pontiff and the representatives of American Indians in Rome last Wednesday below: