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Native Americans and their supporters have celebrated a victory in the Standing Rock pipeline saga.

Celebrations abounded after an agency of the US Department of Defence announced it had turned down permission for a controversial pipeline passing close to a Sioux reservation.

Activists said the decision was a victory for grassroots activism by and on behalf of indigenous people and environmentalists.

Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network told the Independent:

It was the sheer determination that was shown, the sheer numbers of people who have come to the site, including the veterans, who came today.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said:

We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.

The protest project received wider recognition in its early stages when Senator Bernie Sanders drew mainstream attention to the issue.

Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said:

Today’s unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country. Roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms and water lines will be very difficult, if not impossible, to build when criminal behaviour is rewarded this way.

Here are a selection of images from the celebrations yesterday:

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