Keystone Pipeline Protesters: ‘Man Camps’ Could Lead to Sexual Assaults of Native Americans

Native Americans opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline said its construction could lead to Native American women being sexually assaulted, according to news reports from a protest held this week on the National Mall. However, a workers’ union that supports the pipeline said such claims were “disgusting” and harmful to the “hard-working people who build America.”

“We are worried about man camps that are coming to our territory,” Faith Spotted Eagle, an elder with the Yankton Sioux of North Dakota, said at the protest, as reported by Politico.

Spotted Eagle said the mostly male encampments that would be put in place to house those working on the pipeline posed a threat to Native American women.

“We have seen our women suffer,” she said. “One out of three women in our nation have been sexually assaulted by non-native people.”

Members of tribes from states along the path where the pipeline would be built to transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast joined non-tribal protestors in a coalition called the “Cowboy and Indian Alliance.”