Oglalas Lakota have been at the forefront of the resistance against the Dakota Access pipeline, and today they were outraged to learn of Trump’s comments about the tribe’s culture and culture of life.
“We are disappointed in the President’s comments, and we hope that he will listen to our concerns and understand our history and culture,” Oglals Lakota Chairman and Chief LaToya Smith told CNN.
“We are going to continue to resist the Dakota pipeline, our elders have fought for generations to preserve our culture.”
Smith also criticized the White House for “sending a message to our people about our values, and how we should act as an ally to the United States.”
“We have a history of protecting the Lakota people from oppression and we will not be silenced,” she said.
“I do hope that the President understands and accepts the Lakotas Lakotah history of resistance and how our people have worked to protect their land, water, and their water source.”
President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with Indigenous leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White Houses West Wing in Washington, Tuesday, April 16, 2019.AP Photo/Evan VucciPresident Donald J. Trump said during a meeting with the nation’s largest Indian tribe Tuesday that the Oglalla Lakota were not doing their part to defend the Sioux tribe’s water rights and the land they lived on.
Trump also said that the nation should respect tribal sovereignty, which the OGLas Lakotes claim is a sacred right.
Trump’s comments have reignited a debate about the U.S. government’s relationship with the Lakotes, who were among the first indigenous people to enter the United State.
The Oglallas Lakote Nation is located on the Sioux Reservation, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Sioux Falls, North Dakota.
The Oglas Lakots have been members of the Lakote Tribe since at least 1869, and have had a strong presence on the reservation since that time.
In a press conference in which he also praised the Lakots, Trump also called the tribe a “family” and the Lakoes a “sacred people.”
Trump’s words have reignished a debate over the U,S.
relationship with Native Americans and their land rights.
They came amid growing protests by Native Americans against the pipeline, which is expected to bring 800,000 barrels per day of oil to the reservation, which covers about 9 million acres.
Army Corps of Engineers, which has been negotiating with the Sioux Tribe over the pipeline’s location, has said the pipeline will have no impact on the tribe and will not affect the water source for the Ochote Lakota tribe.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the tribe over its relationship with its water sources, and has threatened to veto the tribe-specific Water Protections Act, which would protect water resources in Indian Country.
Trump also recently criticized the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for protesting against the project and the Trump administration for refusing to provide the tribe with water.
“They’ve done it in such a way that they’re destroying the land, the water, the people,” Trump said.