Sioux tribal police forced a truck driver off of a South Dakota reservation after accusing him of illegally hauling materials for the Keystone XL pipeline.
The incident took place around 5 p.m. on June 10 at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation, according to reporting from the Rapid City Journal.
According to a news release from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the incident began when tribal members noticed an oversized truck without a pilot vehicle parking in a gas station parking lot in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. They surrounded the truck to keep it from leaving the parking lot. In images captured at the scene, you can see tribal member lying under the truck while another stands on the truck.
Tribal members say that they were able to identify that the truck was hauling freight for the Keystone XL pipeline and that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Police Department escorted the truck off of the reservation in the direction that the truck had arrived.
A tribal resolution bans all Keystone XL vehicles from the reservation.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier said in a news release:
“This is Sioux Territory. We will not stand for more encroachments and defilement of our land. Any vehicles or personnel working on the Keystone XL pipeline are not welcome on the reservation. I would like to thank the tribal members who brought this to our attention and stand with them in our opposition to the KXL pipeline.”
Grassroots organizer Joye Braun, who was at the scene, told local news outlets that she heard the truck driver mention that he was en route to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. She also said that she was told that the driver’s manifest mentioned Keystone XL pipeline builder TC Energy, but that she herself did not see the manifest.
No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.
TC Energy denies that the truck in question was hauling a load for their company. Spokesperson Sara Rabern said “We work closely with our crews and contractors on their schedules to ensure their safety and ensuring the safe delivery of our materials. In addition, we currently do not have any activity in the region. We build pipe and are not an oil or gas producer that would move its products by truck.”
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety says that they are unable to confirm or deny whether the truck was hauling pipeline materials.
Fracking tank being turned around and escorted back the way it came after grassroots stopped it in front of Eagle Stop pic.twitter.com/moFksdIn47
— Joye Braun (@joyem_braun) June 11, 2019