NASW thankful North Dakota pipeline project halted, but still concerned

Dec 5, 2016

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is thankful the Obama Administration has listened to the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and stopped construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

Members of the tribe and their supporters from around the nation had protested the drilling for months over concerns the pipeline could contaminate tribal water supplies and desecrate sacred land.

NASW submitted a formal letter of support to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that was acknowledged by the tribal External Affairs Office Steve Sitting Bear.

NASW is glad social justice has prevailed in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision. Far too often the environmental impact of such projects on people of color have been ignored in favor of economic interests.

Despite this victory NASW still has concerns. The Dakota Access Pipeline Project has resisted U.S. Army Corps of Engineer orders and has said it will go ahead with running the pipeline through tribal lands. So it is likely court battles will continue.

NASW and other organizations that support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe must also remain vigilant to ensure the incoming Trump Administration does not overturn the decision to stop the pipeline from running under Lake Oahe.

For more information contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson, MSW, MBA at