South Dakota Sioux Says Keystone XL Approval is an 'Act of War,' Will Close Its Borders

Rosebud Sioux
Climate advocates and representatives from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the home of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), chair of the Senate Energy Committee, in Washington November 17, 2014. Gary Cameron/Reuters

The Rosebud Sioux tribe in South Dakota on Monday said a vote by Congress to approve the Keystone XL pipeline would be an "act of war," and would prompt the tribe to seal the reservation's borders if the U.S. government attempts to install sections of the pipeline within its borders, The Guardian reported.

"I pledge my life to stop these people from harming our children and our grandchildren and our way of life and our culture and our religion here," the tribe president, Cyril Scott, told The Guardian on Monday.

Scott told the Lakota Voice news website that he will close the reservation's borders if Congress goes through with the deal. The proposed Keystone XL route cuts through the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota.

"We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people," Scott said.

The Rosebud Sioux tribe is a member of the Cowboy Indian Alliance, an coalition of tribal members and ranchers in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Across the U.S. and Canada, opposition to tar sands project has sparked unusual partnerships between ranchers, landowners, tribes, and environmentalists.

The Senate is expected to vote on a bill to approve the pipeline Tuesday afternoon. The bill was passed by the House on Monday.

South Dakota Sioux Says Keystone XL Approval is an 'Act of War,' Will Close Its Borders | U.S.