Treaties Determining Land Rights for Sioux Reservation:

The Treaty of Fort Laramie was signed between the United States Government and the Sioux Nation on April 29, 1868. Its purpose was to recognize the Black Hills territory, as part of the Sioux Reservation.

Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868). Signed Treaty. From ourdocuments.gov, April 29, 186, (accessed November 30, 2016), Image Link.
Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868). Signed Treaty. From ourdocuments.gov, April 29, 186, (accessed November 30, 2016), Image Link.

This treaty also determined that the Sioux people would be in control of how this land was used. However, led by an expedition by Gen. George A. Custer, gold was found in the Black Hills. This treaty was ignored by minors in search of gold, and the U.S. Army was even demanded to move onto the Sioux territory. The land was officially taken by the United States government in 1877. This Sioux Tribe’s fight for land access, including access to the water resources, which was promised to them from the 1868 treaty, continues to be a major theme that occurs in the Dakota Access Pipeline case. This primary source helps to historicize the debate of whether the land in which the oil pipeline is to be built upon belongs to the U.S. government or the Sioux Tribe. The primary source demonstrates the long history that Native Americans have of struggles and fights for being able to make decisions about land use, including their water quality, which the Dakota Access Pipeline would risk for the Sioux Tribe.

Click Here for the Full Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) Document

Click Here for the Timeline of DAPL Construction since 2014

[Above] “Protesters celebrate after Army denies Dakota Access pipeline permit,” (2016). Courtesy of RT America, Video Link.

This video shows the protesters at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of the Dakota Access Pipeline in celebration of the December 4, 2016 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turning down of the permit for the construction of the pipeline. However, the celebration may be short lived as the Energy Transfer Company responsible for the pipeline project, “denounced the decision Sunday night, as a ‘purely political action’.”[1]



[1]  Daniel A. Medina & Chiara Sottile, “Reprieve for Native Tribes as Army Denies Dakota Pipeline Permit,” NBC News, 4 December 2016.