Independent news has never been so important.

Did you know that you can get Democracy Now! delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

Indigenous Activists Criminally Charged in South Dakota over Keystone XL Pipeline Resistance

HeadlineMar 30, 2021

In South Dakota, two Indigenous activists face criminal charges over their roles in opposing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline — which President Biden halted on his first day in office. The pair are among a small number of water and land defenders who’ve vowed to maintain an encampment on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation near the pipeline route until all pipeline infrastructure is removed. Jasilyn Charger faces up to a year in prison for an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. And Oscar High Elk faces up to 22 years in prison for what his supporters say are trumped-up charges, including aggravated assault on law enforcement. This is Oscar High Elk’s aunt speaking from the courthouse last week.

Vivian High Elk: “The ability to bring charges against citizens has always been abused and overused when it comes to Indigenous response to the protection of our relatives and their habitats and their drinking sources, which includes all four-legged, all two-legged, all plantlife, all watersheds and all Indigenous unceded territories.”

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation