Native Sun News Today: Evictions end historic #NoDAPL campsite

Smoke surged from the Oceti Sakowin Camp, where the Morton County Sheriff’s Department in North Dakota said about 20 lodgings were afire on eviction day. Campers said, “Lighting our dwellings on fire is a sign of respect for them. By lighting them on fire, we ensure these structures go out in dignity.” Photo courtesy Redhawk

Eviction ends historic Oceti Sakowin Camp
Frazier calls eviction scene ‘pretty sickening’
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP, N. D. –– Enforcing a state evacuation order Feb. 23, masked and armed riot police arrested the last of the self-defined water protectors holding out here against the Dakota Access Pipeline construction across 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory since April 2016.

In the wake of the eviction, countless video clips revealed the spitting image of a post-battle scene where once stood the site of the largest gathering of the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation since the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Surveying the now disbanded Oceti Sakowin Camp from a hilltop; Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chair Harold Frazier took note of burning lodges under the guard of military vehicles and called the scene “pretty sickening.”

Saying he was “disappointed,” Frazier observed, “It’s a sad day. They have no respect for our way of life and for all the people in the camp.”

However, he told an interviewer from a volunteer media collective: “Like in our history, we’ll rise again. We will be back.” His enthusiasm drew a trilling ululation of Lakota women’s endorsement.

Frazier noted that the Cheyenne River and the Standing Rock Sioux tribes were readying for a Feb. 27 hearing on their request to obtain a preliminary injunction to halt pipeline building in their lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

The federal suit claims the agency failed to comply with requirements to achieve adequate government-to-government consultation over sacred land and water in permitting construction of the pipeline across the Oahe Reservoir on the Missouri River one-half mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s main drinking water intake.

Frazier invited water protectors to a prayer gathering over the weekend preceding the hearing. The location was the new Cheyenne River Camp established on private fee land adjacent to North Dakota Highway 1806 about a mile south of the main entrance to the abandoned Oceti Sakowin Camp.

So while that camp closed, a private landowner who has the undivided interest in a 25-acre area the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe asked to occupy in the Cannon Ball District of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has agreed to provide an alternative camp site.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said the two-day final offensive to meet his Feb. 22 eviction deadline went “very smoothly.” He noted that “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,” he added. The officers allowed campers until 2 p.m. on Nov. 23 to voluntarily move out, then arrested the remaining 46 people in their way, most of whom were independent media remaining to document the activity, one of them said.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Eviction ends historic Oceti Sakowin Camp

(Contact Talli Nauman at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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