NCAI Expresses Concern with Presidential Actions to Short-Circuit Environmental Review Process for Dakota Access Pipeline

Published on Jan 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC | Today, President Trump issued an Executive Order and a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of the Army with direct impacts to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the Missouri River. 

“The National Congress of American Indians is deeply concerned with these actions because it circumvents the legal process for environmental review of this project. Standing Rock and all the Missouri River Tribal Nations have raised very significant concerns about threats to their water supply,” said NCAI President Brian Cladoosby. “Indian Country has spoken loud and clear that we are not against development, but our legitimate rights as sovereign governments to be heard in the permitting process cannot be ignored. Tribal involvement is necessary to ensure that infrastructure projects benefit our communities without harming our lands, waters, and sacred places.”

While Tribal governments fully understand the bureaucratic hurdles to economic development and share the same desire to improve the federal permitting process, that process must not be shortchanged at the expense of Indian Country. We cannot afford to go back to the days when Tribal Nations’ voices were ignored and left with only the burdens and harms of development without our consent. We urge the Army Corps of Engineers to review its legal responsibilities to Indian tribes, and continue the environmental review process that is already underway.

NCAI has issued formal recommendations to the Trump Administration regarding improvements to the current infrastructure process. Read more on those recommendations here:


About The National Congress of American Indians

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit

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