WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Rosebud Sioux Tribe President Cyril Scott, chief of the South Dakota-based tribe, called the passage of the Keystone XL an "an act of war" on their people.
"We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such," he said. "We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people."
Scott is arriving in Washington D.C. Tuesday ahead of the Senate vote on the bill.
"The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren," said Scott.
The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, making environmental activists fear it will destroy ecosystems along its route.
"The proposed route for the pipeline passes through the Ogallala Aquifer, which is North America's largest fresh water aquifer," said Aldo Seoane, co-founder of Wica Agli, a Native American activist group. "In this and other ways, the pipeline threatens Native and non-native ways of life. Lately there seems to be more awareness of Indigenous issues in the media, but the House vote illustrates the unwillingness to acknowledge Indigenous' treaty rights."
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is sponsoring the bill in an effort to win her runoff election, was one vote short of the 60 needed to pass the legislation at last whip count.