BISMARCK – Governor Doug Burgum and Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II had a lengthy telephone conversation about ongoing efforts to clean up and vacate the Dakota Access Pipeline opposition camp on federal land managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in southern Morton County:
- Gov. Burgum and Chairman Archambault discussed their mutual understanding of the importance of evacuating and cleaning up the main Oceti Sakowin camp to protect human life and prevent contamination of the land and the Cannonball and Missouri rivers in the likely event of flooding.
- The chairman and governor also discussed coordinated efforts by the tribe, state and county to remove garbage, structures, vehicles and other debris from the main camp. More than 230 truckloads had been hauled out as of Monday.
- Both leaders stressed the importance of keeping open lines of communication, including a one-page flyer that will be distributed at the traffic control point south of the camp. Among other information, the flyer reminds people that the main camp will be evacuated at 2 p.m. Wednesday and re-entry will not be allowed, per the governor’s evacuation order and the Army Corps of Engineers’ eviction notice.
- Gov. Burgum informed Chairman Archambault that the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806 has been repaired and emergency vehicles are being allowed through a checkpoint south of the bridge. The governor noted that a Standing Rock ambulance was unable to pass through the checkpoint Sunday because of protester activity blocking the highway.
Meanwhile, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and the North Dakota Department of Health have partnered to set up a travel assistance center. This free service will provide protesters with support as they prepare for their return home.
The transportation assistance center will offer personal kits, water and snacks, health/wellness assessments, bus fare for a return trip home, a food voucher, hotel lodging for one night, and a taxi voucher to the bus terminal.
Transportation will be provided from the protest camp to the assistance center. All camp residents are encouraged to take advantage of these amenities.