NE tribes sign treaty against pipeline - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

NE tribes sign treaty against pipeline

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Nebraska's four native tribes, Ponca, Omaha, Santee, and Winnebago, came together Tuesday to sign a treaty alliance standing against the TransCanada Pipeline, which would cut through our state.

"The impact that it will have negatively when it does leak and get into those waterways and into our soils and ultimately as it crosses our tribe's historic land base," said Larry Wright Jr. with the Ponca Tribe of NE.

TransCanada said it's technology can detect a leak and shut down the system in a short amount of time, but tribes are still worried about possible environmental dangers.

They're also against the use of eminent domain to seize farmers' land.
 
"It wasn't right when they did it to us and we don't think it's right to do it to landowners today," Wright said.

They're joining 150 tribal nations that have come together in opposition to the pipeline, originally in Canada and more recently in North and South Dakota. Despite national concern surrounding pipeline protests in the Dakotas, Nebraska tribes say they're protesting peacefully.

"We've asked our people to pray. We're doing everything we can legally and we know that will carry the day. They expect the worst out of us and we're showing them that's not necessarily the case," Wright said.

So far, that peace has held. The Lincoln Police Department, which has officers on alert all week for the Public Service Commission's hearing on the pipeline here in Lincoln, says they haven't had any trouble.
 
"There hasn't been any civil disobedience, no property damage, no violence-it's showcasing what Lincoln is all about," said Chief Jeff Bliemeister with LPD.

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