(COMMON DREAMS) Jessica Corbett, June 17, 2018 — In a move that could challenge the proposed path of TransCanada’s Keystone XLpipeline—and acknowledges the U.S. government’s long history of abusing Native Americans and forcing them off their lands—a Nebraska farm couple has returned a portion of ancestral land to the Ponca Tribe.
“Repatriating this land to the Ponca Tribe raises new challenges for the Keystone XL pipeline and respects the leadership of Native nations in the fight against the fossil fuel industry.”
—May Boeve, 350.org
At a deed-signing ceremony earlier this week, farmers Art and Helen Tanderup transferred to the tribe a 1.6-acre plot of land that falls on Ponca “Trail of Tears.”
Now, as the Omaha World-Herald explained, rather than battling the farmers, “TransCanada will have to negotiate with a new landowner, one that has special legal status as a tribe.”
The transfer was celebrated by members of the Ponca Tribe as well as environmental advocates who oppose the construction of the pipeline and continue to demand a total transition to renewable energy.
“We want to protect this land,” Larry Wright Jr., the chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, told the World-Herald. “We don’t want to see a pipeline go through.”