Mar 6, 2019 - Oglala Sioux President Responds to SD Governors Threat to KXL-oil Opposition


South Dakota Governor Noem and the Keystone XL pipeline 

I, President Bear Runner, have met with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on occasions to improve the relations between the Oglala people and the State of South Dakota. 

I have read Governor Noem’s proposed legislation and I am standing on our original authorities as the predecessor sovereigns in this land that is now called South Dakota. I am standing on the shoulders of my grandmothers and grandfathers who gave their lives to protect these waters and lands for our posterity. I am asking all veterans who stood with us at Standing Rock to be on standby for we may need peaceful and nonviolent humanitarian aid. I am standing on our right, as Indigenous nations, to right to Free Prior and Informed Consent and  to the protection of priority Oglala treaty and water rights in the proposed act of international trespass and aggression known as the Keystone XL pipeline project. 

Governor Noem met with TransCanada (the owner of KXL pipelines) and soon thereafter proposed legislation to preemptively set up the legal framework by which to punish those who oppose this trespass, aggression and unbearable risk to our only drinking water resources and to diminish the rights of all South Dakotans, Americans and Indigenous peoples who will stand in peaceful resistance to this atrocious act. 

All Americans possess constitutional rights to free speech and assembly which Noem seeks to diminish. Indigenous nations, the original landlords, who entered treaties with Noem’s predecessors in the United States government, have a birthright to protect our homelands for our benefit and for the benefit of the millions of people who depend on the Missouri river and Ogallala aquifer. This is what I am committed to doing on behalf of the Oglala people, the Sioux Nation and all South Dakotans who demand their governor respect their and their children’s right to clean drinking water and healthy ecosystems. 

In fact, Noem should promote healthy ecosystems and clean water by not inhibiting the legalization of Industrial Hemp, an industry which most South Dakotans are ready for. Let us concentrate on smart ways to take our constituents into the future. We do not have to tie ourselves to obsolete fossil fuels and technologies that do not make sense anymore. Thank you to those legislators and constituents who are weathering the storm and asking yourselves just who does Governor Noem represent and who does she answer to?  Agriculture and Tourism; those are our industries. We should not be pass through lessee’s for big oil. Our children deserve better.

Clean water is a matter of national security that Noem must take seriously. There is no agricultural security without clean water. Ask those near Sisseton, SD who live with the 200,000 gallons TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline spilled on their lands and waters November of 2017.

All pipelines leak. The only question is who is forced to live in the sacrifice zone. Noem is following suit with North Dakota’s leadership during the #NoDAPL struggle for which I am still facing charges of riot and trespass on my own treaty protected lands. 

Noem has a duty to gain Sioux Nation consent. Noem knows South Dakota cannot possibly assert rightful title to the land because it is currently held in a state of illegal annexation as long as the Sioux Nation exists and has never been made whole for outstanding treaty violations. The entire South Dakota portion of the proposed pipeline route west of the east bank of the Missouri river is protected by the Oglala and the Sioux Nation. The Dakota Access Pipeline is already causing dangerous risks to the drinking water of the Oglala people. We cannot stand by as outside forces (TransCanada) pit us against each other so they can all reap profits while we are left living with the cancerous risks. Private military contractors and Law Enforcement departments will all be reimbursed by US taxpayers for the costs of criminalizing those who peacefully protect water. 

I am asking all our allies to standby ready to help us deal with this attack on our homelands and our rights. 

Wopila Tanka Icicapelo

President Julian Bear Runner, Oglala Sioux Tribe


*For a full reading of the potential bills:

*photo taken from

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