Standing Rock, Cheyenne River Sioux Respond To Army Corps of Engineers’ DAPL ‘Eviction Notice,’ Refuse To Yield

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reports that the water protectors standing on watch against the Dakota Access pipeline were notified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that on December 5, 2016, the federal government will close a portion of the land north of the Cannonball River. The Inquisitr reported Friday on the eviction notice. The Oceti Sakowin Camp, or Seven Council Fires, is at the center of the eviction notice. Friday, Colonel John Henderson with the Army Corps’ Omaha District announced the eviction plans in a letter to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

In a press release, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stated that the “best way to protect people during the winter and reduce the risk of conflict between water protectors and militarized police” would be to deny the easement for the Oahe crossing. The statement asks the public to try to appeal to President Obama and the Army Corp of Engineers to rescind the pipeline permits pertaining to treaty lands.

“We ask that the United States stop the pipeline and move it outside our treaty lands.

“It is both unfortunate and ironic that this announcement comes the day after this country celebrates Thanksgiving – a historic exchange of goodwill between Native Americans and the first immigrants from Europe. Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the treatment of our people. We have suffered much, but we still have hope that the President will act on his commitment to close the chapter of broken promises to our people and especially our children.”

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The camp is the temporary home for a collective of tribal nations and their supporters who have assembled to oppose the pipeline and ask that it be re-routed away from the land protected by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. Archambault said the water protectors’ resolve is “stronger than ever,” according to CNN. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says that the pipeline threatens the reservation’s main water supply and cultural artifacts. The pipeline company behind the project, Energy Transfer Partners, denies those claims. The Standing Rock Sioux also says that they have rights to the land by the 1851 treaty.

The Cheyenne River Sioux tribal chairman’s response to ACOE’s plan to evict the camps includes the explanation that “[t]reaties are the supreme law of the land and the Constitution of the United States demands that they be respected.” The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe states that it stands with more than 300 tribal nations in protesting the Dakota Access pipeline.

“Removal from Sioux Treaty lands should be the choice of the Oceti Sakowin Camp north of the Cannonball River, not the United States, which has been violating our rights for hundreds of years.”

The letter from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to Col. Henderson further asserted that the letter from the ACOE is being viewed as a “direct and irresponsible threat to the water protectors” and added that it appears to “further empower the militarized police force that has been brutalizing and terrorizing our water protectors while imposing the blame and the risk on unarmed peaceful people.”

“The area north of the Cannonball River is both the ancestral homeland of the Lakota people and inside the boundaries of the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, a treaty that has not been abrogated and law that governs us all. The best of these lands have already been unjustly taken and flooded by the Corps in the disastrous Pick-Sloane legislation. We will no longer allow our rights as a Tribe or as indigenous people as a whole to continue to be eroded… Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of your letter is your acknowledgement of the stark reality that that the confrontation between our peaceful water protectors and law enforcement could result in death or serious injury, a fact demonstrated by the brutal attack on Sophia Wilansky by North Dakota police last week. But in the very next paragraph you guarantee that further confrontations will occur by promising that these peaceful people will be trespassing on closed areas and you threaten that they will do so ‘at their own risk’ and will ‘assume any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence and occupation of such lands.'”

The Inquisitr reported Saturday that McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger was placed on interim suspension, pending his removal from office by the governor. McKenzie County officials recommended Schwartzenberger’s suspension and badge after investigating numerous complaints centered around the pipeline protests. Reportedly, the independent investigation found reason to remove the sheriff based on “harassment and intimidation” and that he fostered a “quasi-military environment.” Even the county’s acting State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz alleged that Sheriff Schwartzenberger is guilty of “misconduct, malfeasance, crime in office, neglect of duty or gross incompetency.”

Indian County Today Media Network stated that the letter warning the water protectors that staying past the December 5 deadline would be at the water protectors’ own risk comes “less than a week after Morton County Sheriff’s deputies sprayed rubber bullets, mace and water on more than 400 people demonstrating at a bridge blockade not far from the camps.” Morton County is a few counties southeast of McKenzie County.

“Temperatures were below freezing when protectors were repeatedly hosed down by police that Sunday night, November 20. There have also been reports that concussion grenades were fired at protectors. Dozens were hospitalized, including 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky, who may face the amputation of her arm, and Cheree Lynn Soloman, who is fundraising for eye surgery.”

Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren claims that the pipeline was built “to have minimal impact to all people concerned” and that the pipeline was going to be built.

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Camp of the Sacred Stones, however, explained that time may be running out for Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline.

“This desperation comes from the company’s January 1, 2017 deadline for completing the project. Dakota Access has previously told the District Court that if they are not delivering oil by January 1, their shipper contracts will expire and the project will be in jeopardy. A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and issued just as the company’s lawsuit was being filed on Wednesday, confirmed these weaknesses in the financing of the project and questioned its entire economic rationale.”

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Camp of the Sacred Stones also reported that come January, if the pipeline isn’t flowing, the project could be abandoned. They claim that there is no longer a need for the Dakota Access pipeline, “because the existing pipelines out of the Bakken, combined with the capacity of local refineries, more than meet the demand of producers wanting to get their products to markets. “

Lakota LaDonna Bravebull Allard said that the place where the pipeline is set to cross on the Cannonball is “the place where the Mandan came into the world after the great flood,” the site of numerous burial sites, and where the sacred medicine rock, which is believed to tell the future, is located.

Leave a comment below. Do you think that the water protectors will be able to hold out until January and stop the pipeline from further crossing into the land that they believe they still have a legal right to protect?

[Featured Image by Leslie Peterson/Flickr/Cropped and resized/CC BY-SA 2.0]