- A letter posted to Facebook from Tribal Chairman Frank White clearly states the Winnebago stand as opposition to the Keystone XL
- According to White TransCanada offered the tribe $10,000 in food for their food bank
- A live video on Facebook shows modular trailers waiting to be delivered to “man camps” for the workers building the pipeline
- Last month a federal judge blocked the pipeline from being able to conduct any advancement or pre-construction of the $8 billion pipeline
A letter posted to the Facebook page of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska claims that TransCanada — the parent company of the Keystone XL pipeline — offered a large food donation to the tribe.
The tribe believes the act was an attempt to build a relationship between TransCanada and the Winnebago. Tribal Chairman Frank White told Siouxland News the offer was for $10,000 worth of food for their food bank. White rejected their offer and said the tribe would continue to stand in opposition of the Keystone XL. Below is the letter White posted to the tribe’s Facebook.
Winnebago Tribal Members,
It has come to my attention that TransCanada, the corporation that is advocating for the Keystone XL Pipeline is trying to donate to our tribe as a means to build a relationship with the Winnebago Tribe. I will not allow our tribe to be influenced by this greedy and corrupt corporation, especially when that pipeline will leak and endanger our mother earth. We call that pipeline the black and the TransCanada corporation is trying to use slithering tactics to influence our tribal members.
The Winnebago Tribal Council took an oath to protect our children & grandchildren, no amount of money will ever be placed on their lives. Water is life and long as I am in this position, I will stand in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. We stand with our water protectors, we stand with our surrounding nations that are fighting this pipeline, and we ask that you stand with us!
Frank White Tribal Chairman
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Up to this point, the pipeline has been plagued with setbacks. Just last month a federal judge in Montana stalled construction on the pipeline possibly until 2020. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled that TransCanada cannot do most of the necessary work to begin construction, including setting up camps for workers building the pipeline commonly referred to as “man camps” by the pipeline’s opposition.
A live video on Facebook shared by Candi Brings Plenty appears to show hundreds of modular trailers waiting to be delivered to be used by workers as housing units. The trailers are said to be in South Dakota all across the Keystone XL route. For advocates against the Keystone XL, the video is a glimmer of hope as it shows the company has been stopped dead in their tracks.
The $8 billion project aims to deliver heavy crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Steel City, Nebraska. In Steel City, it would link up with existing lines and transport oil to Gulf Coast refineries. The pipeline has been in an almost decade long battle to begin construction. In 2015, the Obama administration blocked the cross-border pipeline due to environmental and climate concerns.
The appeared to be dead until President Donald Trump got into office. One of Trump’s first acts as president was to sign an executive order allowing both the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL to be constructed. In November, Morris decided the Trump administration failed to conduct the necessary environmental review when the pipeline was approved in 2017. The judge blocked all construction on the pipeline, then a month later blocked TransCanada from conducting any activities that advanced the pipeline until the review was completed.
TransCanada later requested that Morris allow the company to do pre-construction activity, such as hauling pipes to the site and setting up man camps. Lawyers for TransCanada argued the 700 workers the company brought on could leave, which could prevent the company from beginning construction in 2019. Morris did not entertain the argument and blocked the company’s request.