The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just delivered a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
NBC news correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin reported the news of the Dakota pipeline’s defeat in a tweet Sunday afternoon. Another Twitter user captured a screenshot of an MSNBC broadcast announcing that construction of the pipeline had been halted by the federal government:
According to the Daily Beast, pipeline construction has been halted in order to conduct an environmental impact study. While the details of when the study would be released and whether or not construction would continue after the study was completed are not immediately known as of this writing, Jo-Ellen Darcy, who is Assistant Secretary of the Army and who oversees the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has informed David Archambault II — chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe — that the current Dakota Access Pipeline route through Native territory has been officially denied.
“This is absolutely an historic moment in relations between Native Americans and the United States federal government,” said MSNBC’s Cal Perry.
The announcement comes after a weekend of resistance in which approximately 2,000 U.S. military veterans from all branches traveled to Cannon Ball, North Dakota to join the indigenous protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who recently gave a rousing speech protesting the pipeline on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, is one of the veterans who joined this weekend’s protests.
Despite Sunday’s announcement from the Army Corps of Engineers, it remains unclear whether or not the decision will stand once President-elect Donald Trump, who supports and is personally invested in the pipeline, will reverse that decision when he is formally inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20.