Official Archaeologist Report: No Cultural Material or Human Remains Found in Dakota Access Pipeline Route


Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, in Los Angeles, California, September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Last week I published a draft copy of a report from the North Dakota State Historical Society’s archaeological team which found no evidence of cultural materials or human remains in the Dakota Access Pipeline route. This despite repeated claims from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the environmental activist allies that such materials were found and destroyed by the pipeline company.

It should be noted that federal Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee, has previously rejected these claims by the tribe. In fact, in August the state archaeological team investigated another claim of graves found along the pipeline route, again finding it to be erroneous.

The full, final report is below. It includes maps and pictures. Here’s a pertinent excerpt:


The tribe and the activists supporting them continue to make wild and completely unsubstantiated claims about cultural artifacts and human remains along the pipeline route, but you have to remember that for roughly 40 miles through the area they’re making these claims the Dakota Access Pipeline follows not only the existing Northern Border natural gas pipeline but also existing power line infrastructure. The Dakota Access Pipeline is “brownfield” development. This ground has already been dug up.

Yet now the activists – for what I believe to be purely political reasons  – are making up fairy tales about graves and cultural artifacts. Fairy tales they only came up with after Energy Transfer Partners began construction despite being given ample opportunity to identify these areas prior to the project being permitted.

As Judge Boasberg found, the tribe largely didn’t avail themselves of those opportunities to work with the permitting process, yet they expect us to believe that ETP – despite changing the pipeline route some 140 times in North Dakota alone to respect culturally significant areas – is just running roughshod over grave sites today.

Politically convenient, sure, but not something which seems to be based in any sort of factual record.

Here’s the final report:

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