Tag: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Protest Clean-Up Cost North Dakota $38 Million

BISMARCK – Governor Doug Borgum seeks federal reimbursement as a potential means of recovering the $38-million cost of policing and cleaning up after protestors who demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline for months, according to a new article by Forbes.

All options are on the table,” according to Mike Nowatski, a spokesman from Borgum’s office. “The governor’s office has been in discussions with both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and White House officials to emphasize the state’s position that federal reimbursement is warranted.

Greenpeace – one of the several environmental groups that were present at the camps and raised millions in donations from around the world at the height of protests’ media coverage – said it was not responsible for the clean-up, charging Energy Transfer Partners and the consortium of companies that built the pipeline with the job instead.

 “Any environmental concerns sit at the feet of the pipeline decision-makers,” group spokesperson Perry Wheeler said in an email.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, one of the main tribes that organized the dissenting movement against the $3.8 billion DAPL, expressed his condemnation of the way environmental protestors managed federal lands to VICE News.

He continued: “Before this entire movement started, that was some of the most beautiful land around. There was a place down there where eagles, over 100 eagles would come and land. There were game down there — deer, pheasants, elk, geese. Now, it’s occupied by people. And when masses of people come to one place, we don’t take care of it.”

The camps housing protestors from across the nation were located on the flood plain, meaning any waste that remains will likely be carried by the rain into the Cannonball River, contaminating local water resources as spring emerges.


Oceti Sakowin Camp Officially Cleared of Inhabitants

BISMARCK -The drama at the Oceti Sakowin protest camp may have finally reached an end? Thursday morning, representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers met with protesters from the Oceti Sakowin camp and discussed USACE priorities to clean up the area and restore the land to its pre-protest condition. Law enforcement then entered the camp around 10:45am to begin clearing the area to create an environment conducive to clean up. All inhabitants of the camp were officially cleared at 2:09pm.

Approximately 50 protesters came to the area where law enforcement entered the camp and law enforcement announced to protesters to disperse and head south to avoid arrest. They did not all comply and approximately 23 arrests were made.

As the clearing progressed, law enforcement eventually arrested a total of 46 protesters. Many protesters exited the camp voluntarily throughout the day.

The coordinated effort between local, state, and out-of-state law enforcement allowed for an extremely successful operation in the midst of a dynamic situation. As law enforcement cleared the area, the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation began to work through the area to process potential crime scenes.

“The past two days have gone very smoothly in a challenging environment and complex effort to clear the camp,” said Gov. Doug Burgum.  “Dozens of local, state and federal agencies showed tremendous coordination to ensure the process was conducted safely and securely. Law enforcement exercised restraint and demonstrated professionalism in every respect.”

Law enforcement did not use any less-than-lethal munitions today. A veterans group occupying a tent refused to leave voluntarily, saying they would not be violent, but they would only go with passive resistance therefore law enforcement had to carry them out.

“I am very happy to say that we finally introduced rule of law in the Oceti camp,” said Kyle Kirchmeier, Morton County Sheriff.  “I am hopeful that this announcement brings us closer to finality in what has been an incredibly challenging time for our citizens and law enforcement professionals. Having dealt with riots, violence, trespassing and property crimes, the people of Morton County are looking forward to getting back to their normal lives.”

“I believe I speak for all Morton County residents when I say I’m proud that law enforcement professionals were able to achieve clearing the camp without any major injuries to themselves or protesters,” said Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz. “We know this brings us one step closer to closure and now we can focus on the important mission of cleaning up the environment and strengthening our relationship with our neighbors.”

The ground conditions within the camp today created hazards in that it was very muddy and some law enforcement vehicles got stuck and heavy equipment was required to remove them.

The Corps’ contractor for cleanup is Trinity Analysis & Development Corp. from Shalimar, Florida.  The contract is awarded for just over $1 million if all options are exercised.  This includes cleanup for Oceti Sakowin and Rosebud.  Sacred Stone will be an added phase to the contract when required. The company is expected to be on the Oceti camp barring any weather or logistic delays.

“We’re going to continue to work with North Dakota as we aim to have a permissive environment for contractors,” said Col. John Henderson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “We appreciate their assistance and partnership from Morton County which enables us to do our mission to protect the water resources and land resources entrusted to us by the United States.”

The two individuals taken by ambulance yesterday include a 17 year-old female who was flown to a Minneapolis medical center with severe burns to her hands and face. Her 10 year-old brother suffered minor burns and was expected to be released from a Bismarck hospital today. The incident is currently under investigation. An arrestee claiming to have a broken hip yesterday was taken to a Bismarck hospital where he was medically cleared and transported to the Morton County Correctional Center.

When the Backwater Bridge and Cannonball River Bridge re-open is still contingent upon future operations.

Governor Burgum and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Discuss Clean-Up Plan

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.

Vets Plan to Hold DAPL Protest Site

BISMARCK – Thousands of veterans from various U.S. military services, plan to join demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and hold the lines for protesters against the construction project this weekend.

Already some 1000 vets are heading to the Oceti Sakowin protesters’ campsite, and target Sunday as their day of arrival, with plans to leave by Wednesday. However, many have already made arrangements to remain indefinitely at Standing Rock.

On Monday, North Dakota state authorities ordered the camp vacated, saying the cold makes it dangerous for protesters to stay there. But law enforcement has continued to allow vehicles to enter the site, as weather exposure continues to threaten the safety of demonstrators.

Governor Jack Dalrymple has already stated that plans to change the pipeline location may be to late, and that the Federal government must step in soon.“Further delays simply prolong the risks to public safety, prolong the hardships endured by area residents and increase costs incurred by the state of North Dakota and Morton County” said Dalrymple.

Thousands of vets are expected to arrive at the site, thanks to Michael Wood, a former police officer, and Wesley Clark, a screenwriter, both veterans, who set up a campaign on GoFundMe.com to raise money to help veterans support the Standing Rock protests.

The group representing the veterans, claims they will come in peace, and are there to show support for the protest, though as “human shields.”

[Filed by Piper Combs]

Jane Fonda to Serve Thanksgiving Meals at Standing Rock

BISMARCK – Another high profile Hollywood actress will lend her name to raise awareness for the Standing Rock Sioux effort. Jane Fonda will visit and help serve dinner to water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin camp, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Thanksgiving Day.

Fonda will be part of a delegation 50 people from around the country who will be visit the site of the Standing Rock action against the Dakota Access Pipeline — to serve a Wopila Feast to thank American Indian water protectors for their courage in defending Mother Earth.

“Our purpose is to give back to Native Americans – the Standing Rock Sioux and representatives of over 300 native tribes from throughout the Americas who have joined them in support,” says Judy Wicks, the primary organizer of the delegation.

Additionally, Fonda is contributing five butchered Bison and four Mongolian yurts to the camp.

Fonda is a two-time Academy Award-winner, and has won Oscars for her roles in “Klute” in 1971 and “Coming Home” in 1978, and is currently stars in the Netfix series “Grace and Frankie.”

U.S. Army Halts Construction at DAPL

BISMARCK  –  Citing historical injustices, environmental uncertainties and other factors, the U.S. Department of the Army is holding off on easements under the Missouri River for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and halting construction pending further review.

“The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property,” the Army said in a joint statement with the U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday November 14. “While these discussions are ongoing, construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur because the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant an easement. The Army will work with the Tribe on a timeline that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously.”

Energy Transfer Partners has been pushing ahead hard on construction and using heavily armed North Dakota state authorities as well as private security to keep hundreds of water protectors at bay and make its self-imposed January 1, 2017, deadline for operation. It has excavated and laid pipeline almost right up to the edge of Lake Oahe, the dammed-off portion of the Missouri River that was flooded more than half a century ago for the construction. The company has even constructed a drill pad in anticipation of receiving the easements to complete the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile-long pipeline from the Bakken oil fields to central Iowa.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II reacted with acceptance and gratitude to the Army Corps’ announcement, and the tribe called it a sign that President Barack Obama “is listening.”

“We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country,” Archambault said. “We call on all water protectors, as we have from the beginning, to join our voices in prayer and to share our opposition to this pipeline peacefully. The whole world is watching and where they see prayerful, peaceful resistance, they join us.”

Water protectors have been camped out near the construction site of the pipeline since April and have dogged the pipeline work at every step. More than 400 people have been arrested as they stood their ground against pepper spray, mace, rubber bullets and sound cannons, among other violent methods.

“Together we can inspire people across America and the globe to honor each other and the Earth we hold sacred,” Archambault said. “Millions of people have literally and spiritually stood with us at Standing Rock. And for this, you have our deepest thanks and gratitude. The harmful and dehumanizing tactics by the state of North Dakota and corporate bullies did not go unnoticed because of you. Not all of our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.”

Jill Stein Condemns Police Actions in North Dakota

BISMARCK – Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and mischief after a protest at the Standing Rock, has called out authorities again.

Stein’s campaign announced that it was “horrified and outraged at the militarized repression of water protectors at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. Police and private security forces have engaged in violent actions against peaceful earth defenders who have come to protect the land and water from the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

With less than a week left before the presidential election, Stein has continued to raise awareness for issues effecting the pipeline site, “we condemn the violent repression of the peaceful protests against DAPL as human rights abuses, including the use of attack dogs and pepper spray against peaceful demonstrators, the persecution of journalists, the authorization of weaponized drones, the disruption of prayer ceremonies, and the desecration of sacred burial sites. These are not the actions of public servants sworn to protect and serve the community, but the unconscionable oppression of an occupying army against the original inhabitants of this land.”

Stein is currently listed on the ballot for presidential candidates in North Dakota, and is currently polling at about 2% nationally.

Her campaign stated “The Dakota Access Pipeline is not only a human rights crisis for indigenous peoples, but a catastrophic ecological crisis that will affect millions of people who depend on the Missouri River for drinking water. There is zero expectation that the Dakota Access pipeline will be free of such problems, and could be even worse as it is intended to carry Bakken shale oil, one of the dirtiest and most volatile types of fossil fuel on the planet.”