Call for Norwegian companies to withdraw investments behind the Dakota Pipeline

By Lynette Amoroa

Norway's Sami Parliament is calling on its biggest bank and the Norwegian Oil Fund to withdraw its investments in the companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline Project, following claims it will threaten the health and human rights of the local indigenous tribes.

The Norwegian Bank, DNB, and the Norwegian Oil Fund are feeling the pressure over their investments in the Dakota pipeline project with calls to withdraw.

University of Oslo Law Professor Beate Sjåfjell says, “It is very reprehensible that Norwegian participants are so heavily involved in such a controversial project.”

The controversy that has been ongoing for three months at Standing Rock reservation. Indigenous tribes are against the move, saying the $3.7bil projected pipeline will go through four states threatening the ancestral lands of the Sioux people.

DNB has loaned more than $340mil to the project, and Oil Fund has invested $10.25bil in the constructing companies. Both companies expect that their investments are acting in accordance with human rights.

Director of Communications at DNB Even Westerveld says, “We have asked several questions. We also keep a close dialogue with the customers. So far, we haven't gotten any information that indicates that there are any confirmed violations to human rights, but we are worried about the situation and following it closely. DNB, of course, won't participate in finances that contribute to the violation of human rights.”

But the Sami Parliament in Norway wants more assurance.

Sami Parliament Member Silje Karine Muotka says, “I think what is important here is that investors and companies of Norway act according to human rights also in other countries. When it comes to the rights of indigenous peoples, we know that we have to work accordingly to develop these rights also in our own country.”

President Obama has thrown his weight behind the issue, suggesting a reroute around sacred lands. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier has responded by saying the only resolution is one that assures the protection of the Missouri River water supply.