RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Native American leaders in the Dakotas are working to preserve water rights they say are guaranteed by a century-old treaty.
Representatives of the Standing Rock, Oglala and Rosebud tribes are part of the Great Plains Water Alliance, which the Rapid City Journal says is pushing for a congressional hearing to discuss the issue.
Dennis “Charlie” Spotted Tail, chairman of the Great Plains Water Alliance, says a doctrine dating back to 1908 establishes that all water on Native American land or that naturally flowed to Indian land should be held by the sovereign tribes.
Spotted Tail says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is navigating waters from the Missouri River that would naturally flow from the tribes to other users. He says that’s a violation of treaty rights.
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