Daryl Hannah, activist and actress of “Kill Bill” and “Blade
Runner” fame, visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Thursday to
ride horses with Native Americans, local ranchers and other local
activists protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“It’s an incredible, incredible moment to have the so-called
cowboys and Indians coming together to join forces in opposition to
this proposed pipeline,” said Hannah.
The Keystone XL Pipeline expansion is part of an oil pipeline
project funded by TransCanada, a Canada-based energy supply
company. The proposal connects Hardisty, Saskatchewan, with
Houston, Texas, and runs across South Dakota from the northwest
corner to the south central part of the state, according to maps on
the TransCanada website. If the project is approved by the U.S.
Department of State, construction will begin in January 2012 and
finish in 2013, according to the website.
The proposed pipeline will cross the Mni Wiconi water pipeline
twice. The Mni Wiconi is a major water source for Rosebud, Pine
Ridge and Lower Brule reservations, and officials on those
reservations have said they are concerned about the safety of the
Hannah said she met with Alex and Debra White Plume from Pine
Ridge, John Spotted Tail from the Rosebud Reservation and others
who have protested the pipeline locally and in Washington,
Hannah also met up with activist Tom Weis, who is protesting
the pipeline by riding a recumbent bicycle from Canada to Houston.
Weis stopped in Rapid City on Tuesday. Weis and Hannah were both
arrested this summer in Washington, D.C., at pipeline
The pipeline project makes no sense to anyone except the
corporations who profit from it, Hannah said. She said it will
destroy natural resources and endanger food and water sources for
many people in the U.S. She is hoping she and other protesters can
convince President Barack Obama to stop the pipeline
“This country was supposed to be for the people and by the
people,” she said. “So we need to start getting back to a place
where things make sense for the species, including us, that lives
here, and not for the dollar signs.”
Native Americans bring a perspective to the pipeline debate
that helps Westerners make that shift from dollar signs to other
measures of importance, she said, because they view different
aspects of life as interconnected.
“In order to survive as a species, we have to protect and
preserve things like our fresh water resources that are limited and
more precious than oil,” she said. “(Native Americans) have a deep
intuitive and hereditary understanding of that interdependence and
they have respect and live accordingly.”