The retail giant on Wednesday became the latest company to join in the fight against a controversial plan by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Wal-Mart also said it would provide $500,000 to local environmental groups who are helping to defend the tribal community.
The company, which makes a range of clothing, accessories, and other merchandise, has been one of the biggest supporters of the Standing Sioux tribe’s protest against the pipeline project, which was first proposed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
But Wal-Marts chief executive officer Brian Cornell said Wednesday that while the company has its own political and social beliefs, it has “no interest” in working with the tribe.
“I think the people of North Dakota have expressed a desire to stand up for what they believe in and they’re also willing to take that risk and stand up and be counted,” Cornell said at a news conference.
“They have shown tremendous courage.”
The company said the $500k in contributions were not a donation to the Standing River Sioux tribe.
Instead, the company will donate it to environmental organizations.
The pipeline has been condemned by some Native Americans who say the project would destroy sacred burial sites, contaminate waterways, and destroy ancestral lands.
But Wal-mart has said the project is needed to carry oil from North Dakota to other parts of the country.
Trump has also been accused of racism for saying that he was against the construction because of his “Mexican heritage.”