Standing Rock confident Obama 'will do the right thing' and reroute Dakota Access Pipeline

President Obama in an interview with NowThis (Facebook/NowThis)
President Obama in an interview with NowThis (Facebook/NowThis)

The Standing Rock Sioux Chairman is confident President Barack Obama "will do the right thing" when it comes to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In an interview with social media news agency NowThis, President Obama said the pipeline could be rerouted to avoid sacred lands.

Hundreds of people are protesting the oil pipeline which stretches from North Dakota through to Iowa. The $3.7 billlion dollar project runs underneath the Missouri River which is the main water source for many indigenous tribes.

Standing Rock confident Obama 'will do the right thing' and reroute Dakota Access Pipeline

Presdient Obama said army engineers are looking in to other possibilities for the pipeline.

"As a general rule my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands, Native Americans, and I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline."

However a change to the plans would not be quick.

"We're going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the First Americans," Obama said.

In a statement posted to Facebook, The Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II is welcoming the comments.

"We applaud President Obama's commitment to protect our sacred lands, our water, and the water of 17 million others."

However Mr Archambault II is calling for an immediate "stop work order" on pipeline construction until a decision is made by Army Corps Engineers.

"The nation and the world are watching. The injustices done to native people in North Dakota and throughout the country must be addressed," he said.

Mr Obama also acknowledged on-going clashes between protesters and police made for a "challenging situation".

Dozens of people have been arrested and police have used rubber bullets and water canons on protestors who claim to be peaceful.

"There's an obligation for protesters to be peaceful. And there's an obligation for authorities to show restraint. And I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard, that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt," Mr Obama said.