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"Water is life", chanted Jobeth Brownotter, a Standing Rock member who travelled for 32 hours by bus from South Dakota.

The tribe had claimed that the pipeline was "a bad Black Snake prophesied to come into the Lakota homeland and cause destruction" by desecrating water used in religious ceremonies.

But he said Christianity teaches him "that we don't accept the status quo".

The latest legal push by the Sioux tribes' counsels from the Lakota People's Law Project also contained a reference to a prophecy about a Black Snake that would bring destruction to the communities.

"I was amazed that a new town was essentially forming and there were different factions or neighborhoods of the camp, schools set up in tents, cook shacks to feed everyone, and even leadership organization with a camp center and daily meetings", Lattimer said. "We're still praying for him - but it seems like we'll have to go about this another way".

Energy Transfer Partners needed only to cross beneath Lake Oahe, part of the Missouri River system, to connect a final gap in the 1,170-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, which will move oil from the Bakken shale formation to a terminus in IL.

The rally on Friday revealed some divisions among the activists, with some booing as Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault took the stage. "Native nations rise", Mossett said.

"It's not only about this pipeline", he said. Trump said that the project would put thousands of Americans back to work.

She added, "The Trump Administration may be propping up this project and its investors for now, but it and its backers risk losing all credibility among a global audience".

The tribe is challenging the pipeline's approval on two counts: the lack of a complete EIS and treaty rights, which the tribe said were recognized by former President Barack Obama when he ordered a stop to the pipeline in December. The army corps of engineers announced that it would look at alternate routes for the pipeline and that it would undertake an environmental impact statement.

Trump signed an executive memorandum shortly after taking office, asking the Corps to "review and approve" the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Last month, Boasberg denied the tribes' request for an immediate halt to the pipeline construction, saying there was no imminent harm to the tribes as long as oil wasn't flowing. The tribe argued that the mere existence of the pipeline at Lake Oahe would "desecrate those waters upon which the Cheyenne River Sioux tribal members rely for their most important religious practices".