The Army Corps of Engineers informed the Oceti tribe that it will halt work on the Dakota Access pipeline in order to conduct an environmental impact study.
The government’s decision comes after weeks of sometimes violent conflicts between police and tribal members who objected to an oil pipeline on the sacred grounds of the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.
The Sioux Tribe said it “wholeheartedly support[s]” the government’s decision, and thanked President Obama and the Justice Department. “We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause,” the statement reads. “We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water.”
2,000 U.S. military veterans arrived at Standing Rock on Friday to join the protests and to link arms with native Americans to form a human shield.
Last week, CNN’s Van Jones criticized his former boss, President Barack Obama, for not taking a stand in the name of justice.
Jones compared the Standing Rock demonstrations to civil rights protests in Alabama in the 1960s.
“To me, this is Selma, this is Birmingham, this is as big a civil rights movement and as big a civil rights moment as you’re ever going to see,” Jones told Chelsea Handler.
“President Obama is still the president of the United States right now. And I think he should tell the Army Corps of Engineers to cancel this whole project. If Trump wants to do it, we’ll deal with that later, but President Obama should stand up and say this has gone far enough and needs to stop and needs to stop right now.”