Energy

Investigators Find No Evidence Dakota Pipeline Trampled On Tribal Artifacts

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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An inspection of the Dakota oil pipeline site has found no signs Native American tribal artifacts are present, despite what protesters argue.

Seven North Dakota archaeologists inspected the 1.3-mile section along the route of the Dakota Access pipeline in southern North Dakota, the state’s Chief Archaeologist Paul Picha said in a memo published Monday by conservative outlet, SayAnythingBlog.com.

Picha said only a handful of animal teeth and bone fragments were found during the survey.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe claimed at the outset that the $3.8 billion oil pipeline would wreak havoc on its native lands and cause widespread water contamination. The tribe even rallied outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Aug. 23 while others clamored inside the court to wage a legal battle over the 1,2000-mile-long project.

Tribe officials said construction crews trampled several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” on private land, which ultimately led to violent clashes between protesters and private security guards.

Law enforcement officials told reporters Sept. 5 that four security guards not affiliated with law enforcement and two guard dogs were injured as several hundred protesters living in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation confronted pipeline workers at the site.

One of the security officers was taken to a hospital, while the two guard dogs were taken to veterinary clinic, according to reports by officials. There weren’t any reports of protesters being injured.

The clash happened Sept. 3, one day after the tribe filed court papers saying Energy Transfer Partners’ pipeline was being built along areas where burials, rock piles and other artifacts are located.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, meanwhile, has said that construction crews steamrolled topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for two miles.

“This demolition is devastating,” Archambault said at the time. “These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.”

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