STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, the Native American Caucus members issued the following statements regarding President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects.
Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales, D- Tucson (District 3)
"I stand with Standing Rock in protest of President Trump’s decision to revive construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. As an indigenous grandmother and great-grandmother, I believe we need to protect our environment, not only for our grandchildren but for the generations yet to be born."
Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai, D-Cameron (District 7)
"This signals a lack of respect for Native Americans. The president’s decision allows a corporate takeover that neglects tribal consideration or consultation, fails to honor historical or sacred sites and prioritizes profit above people. Sustainable planning must happen for the survival of this planet and her children. I continue to stand with our brothers and sisters of tribal nations and beside the Standing Rock Sioux."
Rep. Wenona Benally, D-Window Rock (District 7)
"I am extremely disappointed to have learned yesterday that President Trump issued a memorandum that attempts to revive the controversial construction projects. Allowing these projects to once again move forward without meaningful tribal consultation is a direct violation of tribal treaty rights and threatens America's land, air, and water."
Rep. Eric Descheenie, D-Chinle (District 7)
"Protecting water as a 'thing' makes us environmentalists. Protecting water as a 'person', whom we embrace as family, makes us good relatives, and that’s what it means to be indigenous. Our truths continue to push against those who behave like they have no relatives. The actions of the new administration to move forward with utter disregard for what it means to be family and disregard for lawful tribal treaties and federal environmental law are an offense to a viable future. Despite this, we will endure, we have to. Our future depends on it."
The Native American Caucus held a press conference responding to President Trump's decision. To view the press conference, see below: