The Oglala Sioux Tribe in southwestern South Dakota is invoking federal treaties and international agreements in protest of a proposed uranium mine in the western part of the state.
Tribal president Bryan Brewer is demanding protection from the federal government from "immediate threat of contamination and irreparable harm."
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently issued an operating license for a proposed uranium mine in the area. The mine still needs approval from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state.
The Oglala Sioux has called upon the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, signed by President Barack Obama, to support their cause. The tribe has also invoked treaties from the mid-1800s.
A declaration issued by the tribe says the mine would taint water and desecrate the land.
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