Leader of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe dispels rumors about #NoDAPL camp site


Harold Frazier, the chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, addresses a #NoDAPL rally outside of the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on August 24, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

The thousands of people who are resisting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline are promoting peace not pipe bombs, the leader of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe said on Wednesday.

Speaking outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., Chairman Harold Frazier dispelled rumors about the Camp of the Sacred Stones that were spread by top law enforcement and top officials in North Dakota. In direct response to one controversial allegation, he said no pipe bombs can be found at the site near Cannon Ball.

"That's not true," Frazier said of the rumor. "I've been at the camp nearly every single day."

Last week, Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier of Morton County raised eyebrows when he said he pulled back some of his officers due to concerns about the presence of pipe bombs, guns and other "weapons" at the site. Adding fuel to the fire, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) signed an emergency declaration to address any "public safety risks" associated with the large gathering, which has swelled to more than 2,000 in recent days.

But Frazier said the fears were wildly exaggerated. During his visits to Cannon Ball, he's talked to the private security guards hired by the pipeline backers and has been reassured of their safety.

"All the Indian people give us water and food," Frazier recounted of his conversations with staff.

Despite Dalrymple's emergency declaration, the state has instead removed water trailers, air-conditioned trailers and a command vehicle from the site. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose leaders established the sacred camp in April, had requested the assistance.

“The gathering here remains 100% peaceful and ceremonial, as it has from day one. We are standing together in prayer No firearms or weapons are allowed," said LaDonna Allard, a Standing Rock citizen who serves as the director of the camp. "Why is a gathering of Indians so inherently threatening and frightening to some people?”

Along those lines, Frazier took issue with the characterization of the camp as a "protest" site.

"We don't even have a word for protesters in our language," the chairman said.

"In our culture, respect is what we value," Frazier added.

Frazier was among a large delegation of leaders from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe who traveled to the nation's capital for a court hearing on the controversial project. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is asking for a preliminary injunction to halt construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline, whose path comes within a half-mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and lies upstream from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

Judge James E. Boasberg did not issue a decision either way after an hour-long hearing but he said he would have one within two weeks. He took notice of the large crowd -- a second room had to be opened for the overflow -- and the significant interest in the case.

"This is your courthouse," Boasberg told the tribal citizens and allies who attended the hearing.

Additional Coverage:
Hundreds Rally in D.C. as Judge Delays Ruling in Dakota Access Suit (Democracy Now 8/25)
'This Is the Only Way That Pipelines Will Be Stopped' (Esquire 8/24)
Judge to rule on tribe’s oil pipeline request by Sept. 9 (AP 8/24)
Celebrities Join Native American Pipeline Protest in Washington, DC (Reuters 8/24)
Shailene Woodley Protests the Dakota Access Pipeline in Washington D.C.: 'Clean Water Is Now a Political Issue' (People 8/24)
Judge hears tribe's argument against ND pipeline (The Hill 8/24)
Iowa board halts pipeline work on 15 landowners’ parcels (AP 8/24)
Tribe will have to wait on Dakota Access Pipeline fate (PBS 8/24)
Hundreds of protesters gather in Washington D.C. for Dakota Access Pipeline construction hearing (KFYR 8/24)
Gov. Dalrymple reacts to federal judge's nondecision on Dakota Access Pipeline injunction (KFYR 8/24)
Dakota Access Pipeline protesters prepare for extended stay at Sacred Stone Camp (KYFR 8/24)
Grand Forks deputies assisting at pipeline protest (WDAZ 8/24)
Landowners affected by Dakota Access pipeline project are concerned about their soil (Siouxland Matters 8/24)
Aerial view of Sacred Stone Camp, Dakota Access Pipeline construction site (KFYR 8/24)
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman: Dakota Access Pipeline "Is Threatening the Lives of My Tribe" (Democracy Now 8/23)

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