Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Indigenous advocates posted a "virtual banner" on social media to protest TC Energy, the company behind the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which is beginning construction on the pipeline despite a judge's order in April to halt the work. (Photo:

'Not Today. Not Tomorrow. Not Ever': Indigenous Campaigners Protest As KXL Pipeline Construction Begins Amid Legal Challenges

"This pipeline will not be built."

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping them from gathering to stop the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, indigenous rights advocates displayed a "virtual banner" as oil giant TC Energy began placing pipes in the ground this week despite legal challenges to the pipeline.

"Not Today. Not Tomorrow. Not Ever. No KXL. Mni Wiconi," read the virtual banner, shared in a video posted to Facebook by the climate action group

"We do not consent to their dirty tar sands KXL pipeline," the Indigenous  Environmental Network (IEN) tweeted. 

In an email to supporters late Friday, IEN explained how the construction was taking place less than a month after federal Judge Brian Morris ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had improperly issued a permit to TC Energy—authorizing it to construct the pipeline at water crossings along its nearly 1,200 mile route from Alberta to Nebraska—without conducting a thorough review of the project's environmental impact. 

Separately, wrote campaigner Joye Braun, "the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Tribe, and the Indigenous Environmental Network have ongoing lawsuits against the federal government regarding the approval of KXL, arguing that the international border crossing approval was illegal, that it violated treaty rights, and that construction during a global pandemic not only puts communities at risk of COVID-19 infection, but raises the risk of sexual violence perpetrated upon Native women."

A ruling has not yet been handed down in those cases, but hearings took place in April.

"Despite the legal challenges, pipe has been laid at the international border crossing between the United States and Canada—even while the drop in tar sands and oil prices makes tar sands inviable," wrote Braun.

IEN called on supporters to fight the construction of the pipeline by contacting TC Energy's financial backers including Chase Bank and Liberty Mutual, Alberta's Premier Jason Kenney, and "three governors who could force TransCanada to comply with federal and state permits and conditions: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts."

"This pipeline will not be built," wrote Braun.  

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·

'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·

94% of Americans Oppose Big Pharma's Control of Global Covid-19 Vaccine Doses: Poll

Half of U.S. adults also consider it unacceptable that pharmaceutical corporations, which monopolized dose production, have profited substantially from vaccines developed using public funding.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·

'Counseling Not Criminalization' Bill Unveiled to Boot Police From US Schools

"For too long our education system has been intertwined with the criminal legal system and the results have been tragic."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·