PIERRE, South Dakota – A ceremony in Wanblee celebrates the materialization of a pipeline that is to provide Missouri River water to at least 52,000 people — including those who live on the Pine Ridge reservation, the Fremont News reports. Called Mni Wiconi, the federally authorized undertaking began two-decades ago.
Mike Watson, project sponsor and head engineer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, calls the pipeline a milestone. “It’s a very historic moment for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which has been very patient in waiting for the water to get to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation,” he says.
According to Watson, the federal government is funding over 80 percent of the $450 million, 4,200 mile project. Mni Wiconi official on Pine Ridge, Willard Clifford, notes that people are now moving back “to their land where there was no water before. Now, there is water.”
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Source: Fremont Tribune