The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is donating $250,000 to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s legal fund, citing the need to keep pushing for proper consultation even after the Dakota Access oil pipeline issue is decided.
"We support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's effort to ensure the United States Army Corps of Engineers, or any other agency or department of the United States, strictly adheres to federal environmental review and tribal consultation requirements prior to authorizing any projects that may damage the environment or any sites that are of historic, religious, and cultural significance to any Indian tribe,” said Agua Caliente Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe in a statement on September 27, calling on President Barack Obama to make sure consultation is thorough. “We are calling on the Administration not only to follow the clear requirements of the law in this case and rescind the permit and require a full EIS, but to do what is morally right in protecting these lands that are sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux. Like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the hundreds of tribes across the United States, we are stewards of the land, and we must be ever vigilant to protect our ancestral lands and all of the resources therein for the many generations to come."
The 400-member band owns two casino-spas near Palm Springs, as well as hosts visitors at famed Indian Canyon, Tahitz Canyon and other sites of historical and spiritual interest.
The Agua Caliente also encouraged other tribes and organizations to donate or provide political support to ongoing efforts to put in place “thorough government-to-government consultation related to federal decision making on all projects that incorporates tribal input in a meaningful way,” the band said in its statement.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has received support from more than 200 tribes and indigenous organizations in the United States alone, in addition to cities and municipalities, and from Indigenous Peoples worldwide who recognize the threat to, and essential nature of, water. The 1,172-mile-long pipeline would carry about half a billion barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota, through four states to refineries in Patoka, Illinois.
Standing Rock has sued pipeline builder Dakota Access LLC and is facing numerous associated legal costs as its leaders fight to keep parent company Energy Transfer Partners from routing the pipeline under the Missouri River a half-mile from the reservation.
The Agua Caliente had already sent a letter of support to the Standing Rock Sioux on September 9, stating, “Specifically, we support your effort to ensure that the United States Army Corps of Engineers, or any other agency or department of the United States, strictly adheres to federal environmental review and tribal consultation requirements prior to authorizing any projects that may damage the environment or any sites that are of historic, religious, and cultural significance to any Indian tribe.”