WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the Dakota Access pipeline:
"Today is Thanksgiving and I cannot help but reflect on our history in these United States and how often it has not lived up to the rosy picture of Pilgrims and Indians sharing a meal in friendly company that I saw in textbooks as a child. The issues facing Indian Country are many and they are complex, but that should not stop those of us in positions of elected leadership from seeking to make a difference wherever and whenever we can.
"The recent escalation of violence against members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and those standing in solidarity with them is fundamentally wrong and must be condemned. Back in September, days after these protests began, I spoke out against these aggressive tactics and called on President Obama to intervene.
"The Obama Administration quickly announced that they were putting a halt to the project until they could respond to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and to concerns from across the nation by establishing better tribal consultation and by addressing water supply and spill concerns.
"Today, I am calling on the President and the Army Corps of Engineers to reroute the pipeline. No pipeline is worth more than the respect we hold for our Native American neighbors. No pipeline is worth more than the clean water that we all depend on. This pipeline is not worth the life of a single protester.
"There is no excuse for the brutality we've seen in recent days and it should not be rewarded."