Standing Rock Sioux Want Protesters to Go Home
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council unanimously voted to support the district of Cannon Ball in asking all Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to leave the area and canceling plans for a nearby winter camp.
“All the individuals at all the camps in and around Cannon Ball need to leave the district,” residents wrote in a 10-point resolution passed during an executive session of a district meeting Wednesday night. “The building of an alternative site for the camp(s) within the Cannon Ball District is not needed or wanted. If there is to be any kind of a ‘site’ for the commemoration of this historic event that took place with all the tribes, the people of Standing Rock need to vote on where, what and cost before any ‘shanty town is built.'” reported the Bismark Tribune.
The resolution, approved by the full council, applies to all of the protest camps in the area: Oceti Sakowin, Rosebud and Sacred Stone.
Cody Two Bears, the Cannon Ball district representative to the tribal council, said the district is requesting federal law enforcement aid in removing protesters from the district and setting up posts blocking those who do not live or work in the district from entering. The district requests these actions be taken in the next 30 days.
The resolution stemmed from residents’ frustrations over the continued closure of Backwater Bridge on N.D. Highway 1806, which is the primary route to work and hospital services. Repairs and cleaning are needed at the Cannon Ball gym, due to serving as an emergency shelter for protesters. Also, there’s concern over alcohol and drug use in the area believed to be tied to the camps.
The resolution passed on January 20, 2017. Four days later, President Trump signed executive orders to revive the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. The executive order directs the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner, to the extent permitted by law.”
The Washington Post tells us that some protesters have remained on the site, even as the weather has become harsher and tribal officials have said they will fight any federal permit in court. Corps officials have said that the extended protests have contributed to soil erosion that could make any potential spring flooding worse.
Acting assistant secretary of Indian affairs Michael S. Black said the agency had sent “enforcement support and will assist” the tribe “in closing the protest camps within the Standing Rock Reservation boundary.”
“North Dakota Governor [Doug] Burgum, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leadership, local law enforcement, and local landowners have all warned the public and those still camped of the dangerous spring flooding expected due to the heavy amount of snowfall the state received this winter,” Black added. “The closing of the camps is a matter of public health and safety, and working together at this time will allow for the safe removal of waste and debris that will impact the local environment and protection of those camped.”
“In these past few weeks at camp, I see no reflection of our earlier unity, and without unity we lose,” the tribe’s chairman, David Archambault II, said in a statement.