Tag Archives: Bureau of Indian Affairs

BIA Agent caught on Video Hitting Female Water Protector with Baton during Arrest in Standing Rock

BIA agent Attacks female Water Protector with Baton during Arrest in Standing Rock

BIA agent Attacks female Water Protector with Baton during Arrest in Standing Rock

BIA agent caught hitting unarmed female with baton and arresting her as Tribe says ‘No Forcible Removal’ 

By Black Powder | RPM Staff, Feb 06 2017 • Updated

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials said this weekend they were working with federal authorities to close the Dakota Access Pipeline camps for safety reasons.

On Friday, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) said the agency had sent “enforcement support and would assist the tribe” in closing the protest camps within its reservation boundaries.


But Tribal officials responded over the weekend that while they wanted people to close the camps and leave the reservation, they did not want them arrested or ousted by force.

“We want to stress that we are cleaning the camps, not clearing them,” the tribe posted on Facebook on Saturday. “We do not support or endorse any ‘raids.’ We have not asked for law enforcement to assist in clearing camps and in fact have repeatedly told them there will be no forcible removal.”

On Saturday evening, a video emerged out of Standing Rock which showed a female water protector beaten by a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officer with his baton during an arrest. The unarmed woman is seen walking away from a BIA agent when he starts to hit her with the weapon. The woman can be heard yelling at the officer during the attack “Stop brutalizing me”

Will Barton uploaded the video to his Facebook page shortly after the incident occurred on February 4. 2017.

The altercation took place along the road going into Sacred Stone Camp.

Three people were said to be arrested.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe put out a Press Release yesterday, including more information about the incident. 

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe denounces any violence and it is very important to maintain peace on all sides. Although we don’t know all the facts, the Bureau is conducting an investigation.”

“From information provided thus far, we understand that a tribal citizen of the Cannonball community called the police due to individuals blocking road access to the caller’s home. When law enforcement arrived at the scene, officers were subsequently pepper sprayed by the individuals at the roadblock. This led to an altercation and arrests at the scene. The safety of Tribal citizens remains our top priority and we denounce all forms of violence.”

After months of protests, both tribal officials and residents in the town of Cannon Ball, have asked those opposed to completion of the controversial, 1,170-mile pipeline to leave.

The Standing Rock Tribe has asked camps to disband by Feb. 22, before the spring flooding season.

U.S. Army Corps Moves To Close Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp Feb. 22

Law enforcement officers line up against protesters during the eviction of Dakota Access pipeline opponents from a camp on private property in southern North Dakota near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Feb. 1, 2017.

Law enforcement officers line up against protesters during the eviction of Dakota Access pipeline opponents from a camp on private property in southern North Dakota near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Feb. 1, 2017.

BIA pledges support in helping Standing Rock Tribe close protest camps

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given an evacuation order to those protesting at the Dakota Access Pipeline camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

The Army Corps is giving protesters until Feb. 22 to leave the Oceti Sakowin Camp for safety reasons, ABC News reported on Friday.

The Corps issued notices of the closure to protesters.

Record snowfall is expected in North Dakota, which could lead to record flooding in the area, according to an Army press release.

“Much of the land where the protest camps are currently located is directly in an area prone to flooding in years with heavy plains snow pack,” the Army said. “While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers routinely monitors river levels, ice jam flooding can very quickly force water into low-lying areas near the river with little time for reaction, placing anyone in the floodplain at risk for possible injury or death.”

Anticipated Flood Area From a January 11th, 2017 article in the Bismarck Tribune

Anticipated Flood Area. From a January 11th, 2017 article in the Bismarck Tribune

According to NBC NewsThe Corps said it would close the Oceti Sakowin Camp, which sits on approximately 50 acres of Corps land, due to the “high potential for flooding” in the low-lying area at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers.

The website of the largest protest camp urged protesters to leave.

“As we are caretakers of this land we are familiar with the oncoming flooding of the land of Mni S’os’e (Missouri River) we ask occupants of the Oc’eti Oyate to evacuate as soon as possible for safety reasons,” the Oceti Sakowin camp said in a statement.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department said that if the protesters do not leave the camp, it will become a “humanitarian mission” to rescue them.

In addition, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) pledged its support in helping the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe close the protest camps within its reservation boundaries.

The federal government announced Friday that it was dispatching BIA agents to the Standing Rock reservation.

The Corps said oil erosion and pollution — which it attributed to the “unauthorized placement of structures, vehicles, personal property, and fires” on the land over the course of more than six months — could result in contaminated runoff into both rivers.


“As stewards of the public lands and natural resources, we have a responsibility to the public to prevent injuries and loss of life,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson. “We must also ensure our precious water resources are free from pollution due to human activities and respect for all who rely on this water for their livelihoods.”

A senior U.S. Defense official confirmed to NBC News that members of Congress were notified of the decision Friday.

The decision could be the final, decisive blow for a protest movement that began at the camp in early August with just a few dozen protesters — who call themselves water protectors — from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and blossomed into a movement captivated the nation with thousands of Native Americans and environmental activists flocking to the remote North Dakota plains to stop the $3.7 billion pipeline.

In late November, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued a similar evacuation order, citing “severe winter conditions.” The order was followed up days later by a U.S. Army Corps deadline of Dec. 5.

The orders drew thousands more to the camp in solidarity, including groups of U.S. military veterans who vowed to act as “human shields” against possible clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement.

On Dec. 4, just hours before that deadline, the Corps turned down a permit for the project in what would be a short-lived victory for the tribe.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memo asking for an expedited review of the Dakota Access Pipeline in an effort to get the controversial final portion of the 1,100-mile project moving again.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has promised to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for not conducting the environmental-impact review it said it would conduct.

On Tuesday, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told NBC News that the Corps would grant an easement to Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company funding the project, to finish the pipeline.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe alleges the construction and operation of the pipeline would destroy sacred sites and threatens their drinking water.

Meanwhile, Morton County Sheriff’s arrested Seventy-six protesters on Wednesday after a new camp, with seven tepee frames representing the seven tribes, was erected on a hill Wednesday morning a quarter mile from the original Oceti Sakowin Camp.

American Indian activist and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member Chase Iron Eyes was charged on Friday with inciting a riot and trespass.

The anti-pipeline protest camp that once occupied by as many as 10,000 people has thinned to fewer than 300 due to harsh winter weather and a plea by Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault for the camp to disband before the spring flooding season.

Feds Raid Native American Reservation, Seize 12,000 Legal Marijuana Plants

Federal and local authorities raided the marijuana farm on the XL Rancheria in California on July 8, 2015. Photo by Bruce Brown/Facebook

Federal and local authorities raided the marijuana farm on the XL Rancheria in California on July 8, 2015. Photo by Bruce Brown/Facebook

By MintPress News

New federal regulations allow Native American tribes to legalize cannabis on their reservations only if they are located in a state with similarly permissive laws.

ALTURAS, Calif. — Last week, federal agents raided land belonging to two federally-recognized Native American tribes, and seized 12,000 cannabis plants from their properties. The bust came despite new federal guidelines designed to allow limited marijuana cultivation by indigenous groups in the United States.

The agents arrived at the properties at the far northern edge of California on July 8, ultimately seizing the plants and over 100 pounds of marijuana ready for use from two buildings — an event center belonging to the Alturas Rancheria and a greenhouse belonging to the Pit River tribe. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. district attorney in Sacramento, led the raid.

“The volume of marijuana that the XL facility alone was capable of producing … far exceeds any prior known commercial marijuana grow operation anywhere within the 34-county Eastern District,” Wagner said in a statement quoted by The Sacramento Bee on the day of the bust.

A view of the marijuana farm on the XL Rancheria in California.

A view of the marijuana farm on the XL Rancheria in California.

The Justice Department announced in December that it would allow Native American tribes to choose whether to legalize marijuana on their reservations, which are considered sovereign nations for many aspects of lawmaking and governance. Under the new regulations, tribes are free to maintain a ban even if the states they are in have passed medical cannabis laws or broad legalization, but the opposite is not true: Tribal efforts at legalization aren’t allowed to overturn state laws that criminalize marijuana.

In his statement, Wagner accused the Pit River Tribes and the Alturas Rancheria, a community of just five registered members, of taking their growing operations too far, and said he’d previously warned tribal leaders they were acting “in a manner that violates federal law, is not consistent with California’s Compassionate Use Act, and undermines locally enacted marijuana regulations.”

The grow operation was funded by Grand River Enterprises, a huge Canadian tobacco business which distributes its products on Native American and First Nations reservations, and the involvement of a foreign investor may be another factor that led to the bust. According to The Associated Press, the Bureau of Indian Affairs also supported the raid.

A view of the greenhouses that were used to grow marijuana on the XL Rancheria in California.

A view of the greenhouses that were used to grow marijuana on the XL Rancheria in California.

The AP report revealed that the raid is part of a family dispute over control of the small tribe, which also owns a casino, and the feds were tipped off by the sister of the Alturas Rancheria chairman.

The bust could spell trouble for other Native American groups interested in legalization, like South Dakota’sFlandreau Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, which became the first reservation in the U.S. to legalize cannabis in June. However, South Dakota features harsh laws for marijuana use and cultivation, with mandatory minimum sentences that reduce judicial flexibility when hearing cases. People can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a year’s imprisonment just for being “in a room where marijuana is being used or stored.”

This plant seizure in northern California is one of a growing number of cases in which differences in federal and local cannabis laws leave Americans in serious legal jeopardy. For example, a U.S. Marine veteran faces life imprisonment in Oklahoma for using marijuana to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder, even though he qualifies for medical marijuana in California and his treatment is supported by Veterans Administration regulations. Even in places that have legalized medical marijuana, enforcement can vary a great deal, as a Michigan patient discovered last July when police raided her home and took all her possessions, “even her children’s iPads.”

This article was originally published at MintPressNews.com.