Native Americans Protest Christopher Columbus’ Ship Replicas in Traverse City

Native Americans protested the arrival of two Christopher Columbus’ replica ships in Traverse City on Wednesday night.

Members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians surrounded the ships and stood by on land as the Nina and Pinta pulled in. Some sign-carrying protesters in kayaks went to out “meet” the ships at West Grand Traverse Bay.

Officials with the tribe said the ships are a painful reminder of the past.

Timothy Grey of Traverse City called the replicas “floating monuments of a 500-year holocaust” and added that “being in a time period now where monuments and symbolisms of things in the past are so contentious….allowing these ships to dock here is dangerous.”

“That’s not right, those things should not be here, they are terrifying, they symbolize nothing but genocide, nothing more”  – Timothy Grey.

The ships arrived to offer tours for what some consider a celebration of American history.

Columbus ship replicas arrive. Credit: The Columbus Foundation

The tall-ship replicas from Christopher Columbus‘ sailing fleet — built and sailed by The Columbus Foundation — will be docked at Clinch Park Marina for tours Aug. 18-22.

A company statement from The Columbus Foundation said it wasn’t looking to create “heroes or villains,” but built the ships to create historically accurate replicas.

While the Columbus Foundation emphasizes educating the public on ship design and shipbuilding as central to its core mission, it alludes to controversy surrounding Columbus on its website under a heading titled “Best Reasons To Visit the Niña and Pinta.”

“In most ways, the boats are no different from any of the various tourist activities offered throughout the area by representing the past in present replica physical form,” the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians wrote in a press release. “But in several critical ways, they are uniquely damaging, because the replica ships represent the narrative of “discovery” of the “new world” by European claimants and the devastating consequences of the “discovery” for indigenous people. The Nina and Pinta are symbols of a standard and system of thought that should be repugnant to the American ideals of equality and property rights for all people. Indeed, Traverse City, along with other local and state governments, now recognizes “Indigenous Peoples Day” on Columbus Day to support this paradigm shift.”

The Maritime Heritage Alliance says this is a good time for the tribe to share their story and says this is an important reminder to everyone that there are two sides to every story.

The tribe will be at Clinch Park Marina throughout the weekend passing out information and protesting.

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Four Beer Stores Near Pine Ridge Reservation Must Stop Sales After April 30th

Whiteclay | omaha.com

  • By Black Powder | RPM Staff – April 28. 2017

Due to an appeal by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission of a district judge’s decision on Thursday, four beer stores in Whiteclay must stop selling alcohol on Monday.

The stoppage will go forward despite the stores winning an appeal with a Lancaster County judge, after the LCC refused to renew their licenses last week, citing a lack of adequate law enforcement in the area.

The judge said the LCC did not show that the stores had failed to qualify for renewals, but the state Attorney General filed an appeal of the decision late Thursday. That means the original ruling will stand until the court can issue another one as early as next week.

The unincorporated saloon town of Whiteclay has a population of 14 people and sits on the Nebraska-South Dakota border next to Pine Ridge home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Pine Ridge is a dry reservation struggling with alcoholism.

The four beer stores sell millions of cans annually to Native Americans from the reservation, where Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) has reached epidemic proportions. 1 in 4 babies are born with FAS.

The status of Whiteclay’s beer stores has been a constant political issue in the region, prompting waves of activism to end the alcohol sales.

As of right now, the four beer stores will have to stop sales April 30th at midnight.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Regroup, Plot Resistance To Other Pipelines

Protesters march along the pipeline route during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in St. Anthony, North Dakota, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Protesters march along the pipeline route during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in St. Anthony, North Dakota, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Native Americans hope their fight against Dakota Access will spur similar protests targeting pipelines across the United States and Canada

  • By Terray Sylvester | Reuters, Feb 26, 2017

CANNON BALL, N.D. – Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline who were pushed out of their protest camp this week have vowed to keep up efforts to stop the multibillion-dollar project and take the fight to other pipelines as well.

The Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, was cleared by law enforcement on Thursday and almost 50 people, many of them , were arrested.

The number of demonstrators had dwindled from the thousands who poured into the camp starting in August to oppose the pipeline that critics say threatens the water resources and sacred land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe has said it intends to fight the pipeline in court.

The 1,170-mile (1,885 km) line, built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, will move crude from the shale oilfields of North Dakota to Illinois en route to the Gulf of Mexico, where many U.S. refineries are located.

Tonya Olsen, 46, an Ihanktonwan Sioux from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who had lived at the camp for 3-1/2 months, said she was saddened by the eviction but proud of the protesters.

She has moved to another nearby camp on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, across the Cannon Ball River.

“A lot of people will take what they’ve learned from this movement and take it to another one,” Olsen said. She may join a protest if one forms against the Keystone XL pipeline near the Lower Brulé Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, she added.

Tom Goldtooth, a protest leader and executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said the demonstrators’ hearts were not defeated.

“The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning,” Goldtooth said in a statement on Thursday. “They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

Many hope their fight against the project will spur similar protests targeting pipelines across the United States and Canada, particularly those routed near Native American land.

“The embers are going to be carried all over the place,” said Forest Borie, 34, a protester from Tijuana, Mexico, who spent four months in North Dakota.

“This is going to be a revolutionary year,” he added.

NEXT TARGETS

Borie wants to go next to Canada to help the Unist’ot’en Native American Tribe in their long-running opposition to pipelines in British Columbia.

Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company constructing the Dakota Access pipeline, is already facing pushback from a diverse base of opposition in Louisiana, where it is planning to expand its Bayou Bridge pipeline.

Other projects mentioned by protesters as possible next stops include the Sabal Trail pipeline being built to transport natural gas from eastern Alabama to central Florida, and Energy Transfer Partners’ Trans-Pecos in West Texas. Sabal Trail is a joint project of Spectra Energy Corp, NextEra Energy Inc and Duke Energy Corp.

Another protest is focused on Plains All American Pipeline’s Diamond Pipeline, which will run from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Valero Energy Corp’s Memphis refinery in Tennessee.

Anthony Gazotti, 47, from Denver, said he will stay on reservation land until he is forced out. Despite construction resuming on the Dakota pipeline, he said the protest was a success because it had raised awareness of pipeline issues nationwide.

“It’s never been about just stopping that pipeline,” he said.

June Sapiel, a 47-year-old member of the Penobscot Tribe in Penobscot, Maine, also rejected the idea that the protesters in North Dakota had failed.

“It’s waking people up,” she said in front of a friend’s yurt where she has been staying. “We’re going to go out there and just keep doing it.”

[SOURCE]

US Veterans Return to Standing Rock to Protect Native Americans Protesting Dakota Access Pipeline

Photo: Veterans Stand For Standing Rock/Facebook

Photo: Veterans Stand For Standing Rock/Facebook

By Black Powder | RPM Staff, Feb 12, 2017

US veterans are returning to Standing Rock to support and protect Native Americans still protesting the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline.

In January, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders to continue the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

According to The Guardian, Veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river.

It is unclear how many vets may arrive to Standing Rock; some organizers estimate a few dozen are on their way, while other activists are pledging that hundreds could show up in the coming weeks.

In December, thousands of veterans descended on Standing Rock to form a “human shield” between increasingly aggressive police and “water protector” protesters.

RELATED:

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as 'water protectors' continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as ‘water protectors’ continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

But the presence of vets was not without controversy. Some said the groups were disorganized and unprepared to camp in harsh winter conditions, and others lamented that they weren’t following the directions of the Native Americans leading the movement.

Vets with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffered in the cold and chaotic environment without proper support, said Matthew Crane, a US navy veteran who is helping coordinate a return group from VeteransRespond.

His group has vowed to be self-sufficient and help the activists, who call themselves “water protectors”, with a wide range of services, including cleanup efforts, kitchen duties, medical support and, if needed, protection from police.

“This is a humanitarian issue,” said Crane, 33. “We’re not going to stand by and let anybody get hurt.”

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been asking protesters to leave the reservation since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to do an environmental review in December. This month, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent law enforcement to remove protesters, tribal leaders clarified that did not want anyone arrested or removed by force.

RT reports, the Tribe has vowed to fight the president’s order to push ahead with the Dakota Access pipeline despite the US Army Corps of Engineers stating it would cancel its planned environmental impact study and grant a permit for construction of the final phase of the pipeline project being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

According to the U.S. veterans who have headed back to Standing Rock (some who didn’t make it in December), they are there to protect the few hundred remaining, largely Native American, protesters from further attacks by police.

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” Air Force veteran Elizabeth Williams told the Guardian. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”

At Standing Rock, indigenous activists say mass arrests and police violence have led some water protectors to develop PTSD, suffering symptoms that many US veterans understand well.

Police have deployed water cannons, rubber bullets and teargas at water protectors. Private security has used dogs to attack Native American demonstrators. Hundreds of water protectors have been arrested.

Video: VeteransRespond: Road To Standing Rock

Remembering the Wounded Knee Massacre – Dec 29, 1890

The opening of the fight at Wounded Knee illustration

The opening of the fight at Wounded Knee illustration

Red Power Media | Dec 29, 2016

On December 29, 1890, the massacre of Sioux warriors, women and children along Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota marked the final chapter in the long war between the United States and the Native American tribes indigenous to the Great Plains.

For the entirety of his 27 years, Black Elk’s somber eyes had watched as the way of life for his fellow Lakota Sioux withered on the Great Plains. The medicine man had witnessed a generation of broken treaties and shattered dreams. He had watched as the white men “came in like a river” after gold was discovered in the Dakota Territory’s Black Hills in 1874, and he had been there two years later when Custer and his men were annihilated at Little Big Horn.

Black Elk (left) and Elk of the Ogala Lakota touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. (Credit: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

Black Elk (left) and Elk of the Ogala Lakota touring with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. (Credit: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

He had seen the Lakota’s traditional hunting grounds evaporate as white men decimated the native buffalo population. The Lakota, who once roamed as free as the bison on the Great Plains, were now mostly confined to government reservations.

Life for the Sioux had become as bleak as the weather that gripped the snow-dusted prairies of South Dakota in the winter of 1890. A glimmer of hope, however, had begun to arise with the new Ghost Dance spiritual movement, which preached that Native Americans had been confined to reservations because they had angered the gods by abandoning their traditional customs. Leaders promised that the buffalo would return, relatives would be resurrected and the white man would be cast away if the Native Americans performed a ritual “ghost dance.”

As the movement began to spread, white settlers grew increasingly alarmed and feared it as a prelude to an armed uprising. “Indians are dancing in the snow and are wild and crazy,” telegrammed a frightened government agent stationed on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation to the commissioner of Indian affairs on November 15, 1890.

General Nelson Miles

General Nelson Miles

“We need protection and we need it now.” General Nelson Miles arrived on the prairie with 5,000 troops as part of the Seventh Cavalry, Custer’s old command, and ordered the arrest of several Sioux leaders.

When on December 15, 1890, Indian police tried to arrest Chief Sitting Bull, who was mistakenly believed to have been joining the Ghost Dancers, the noted Sioux leader was killed in the melee. On December 28, the cavalry caught up with Chief Big Foot, who was leading a band of upwards of 350 people to join Chief Red Cloud, near the banks of Wounded Knee Creek, which winds through the prairies and badlands of southwest South Dakota. The American forces arrested Big Foot—too ill with pneumonia to sit up, let alone walk—and positioned their Hotchkiss guns on a rise overlooking the Lakota camp.

As a bugle blared the following morning—December 29—American soldiers mounted their horses and surrounded the Native American camp. A medicine man who started to perform the ghost dance cried out, “Do not fear but let your hearts be strong. Many soldiers are about us and have many bullets, but I am assured their bullets cannot penetrate us.” He implored the heavens to scatter the soldiers like the dust he threw into the air.

The cavalry, however, went teepee to teepee seizing axes, rifles and other weapons. As the soldiers attempted to confiscate a weapon they spotted under the blanket of a deaf man who could not hear their orders, a gunshot suddenly rang out. It was not clear which side shot first, but within seconds the American soldiers launched a hail of bullets from rifles, revolvers and rapid-fire Hotchkiss guns into the teepees. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Lakota offered meek resistance.

Big Foot, leader of the Sioux, lying in the snow where he was killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Big Foot, leader of the Sioux, lying in the snow where he was killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Big Foot was shot where he lay on the ground. Boys who only moments before were playing leapfrog were mowed down. In just a matter of minutes, at least 150 Sioux (some historians put the number at twice as high) were killed along with 25 American soldiers. Nearly half the victims were women and children.

The dead were carried to the nearby Episcopal church and laid in two rows underneath festive wreaths and other Christmas decorations. Days later a burial party arrived, dug a pit and dumped in the frozen bodies. For decades, survivors of the massacre lobbied in vain for compensation, while the U.S. Army awarded 20 Medals of Honor to members of the Seventh Cavalry for their roles in the bloodbath.

Bodies of Lakota Sioux at Big Foot’s camp following the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Bodies of Lakota Sioux at Big Foot’s camp following the Wounded Knee Massacre.

When Black Elk closed his wizened eyes in 1931, he could still envision the horror. “When I look back now from this high hill of my old age,” he told writer John G. Neihardt for his 1932 book “Black Elk Speaks,” “I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there.”

It was not the last time blood flowed next to Wounded Knee Creek. In February 1973 activists with the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the site for 71 days to protest the U.S. government’s mistreatment of Native Americans. The standoff resulted in the deaths of two Native Americans.

[SOURCE]

Pipeline Uncertainty Illustrates Broader Concerns for Tribes

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The Oceti Sakowin camp is seen in a snow storm during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 29, 2016.

By Associated Press | December 25th 2016

For hundreds of protesters, it was cause to cheer when the Obama administration this month declined to issue an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline’s final segment. But that elation was dampened by the uncertainty of what comes next: a Donald Trump-led White House that might be far less attuned to issues affecting Native Americans.

“With Trump coming into office, you just can’t celebrate,” said Laundi Germaine Keepseagle, who is 28 and from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where the demonstrators have been camped out near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

Anxiety over the 1,200-mile pipeline illustrates a broader uncertainty over how tribes will fare under Trump following what many in Indian Country consider a landmark eight years.

President Barack Obama has won accolades among Native Americans for breaking through a gridlock of inaction on tribal issues and for putting a spotlight on their concerns with yearly meetings with tribal leaders.

Under his administration, lawmakers cemented a tribal health care law that includes more preventive care and mental health resources and addresses recruiting and retaining physicians throughout Indian Country.

The Interior Department restored tribal homelands by placing more than 500,000 acres under tribes’ control — more than any other recent administration — while the Justice Department charted a process approved by Congress for tribes to prosecute and sentence more cases involving non-Native Americans who assault Native American women. Before Obama, a gap in the laws allowed for such crimes to go unpunished.

In addition, the federal government settled decades-old lawsuits involving Native Americans, including class-action cases over the government’s mismanagement of royalties for oil, gas, timber and grazing leases and its discrimination against tribal members seeking farm loans.

“In my opinion, President Obama has been the greatest president in dealing with Native Americans,” said Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Tribe north of Seattle and president of the nonpartisan National Congress of American Indians, based in Washington, D.C. “The last eight years give us hope going forward with the relationships we have on both sides of the aisle.”

Trump, meanwhile, rarely acknowledged Native Americans during his campaign and hasn’t publicly outlined how he would improve or manage the United States’ longstanding relationships with tribes.

His Interior secretary pick, Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, sponsored legislation that he says would have given tribes more control over coal and other fossil fuel development on their lands.

But some of Trump’s biggest campaign pledges — including repealing health care legislation and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — would collide with tribal interests.

In Arizona, Tohono O’odham Nation leaders have vowed to oppose any plans for a wall along the 75-mile portion of the border that runs parallel to their reservation. And the non-profit National Indian Health Board in Washington says it’s aiming to work with lawmakers to ensure the Indian Health Care Improvement Act remains intact.

The law, which guarantees funding for care through the federal Indian Health Services agency, was embedded in Obama’s health care overhaul after consultation with tribes.

The government’s role figures prominently in Native Americans’ daily lives because treaties and other binding agreements often require the U.S. to manage tribal health care, law enforcement and education.

Some tribal members say they’re unsure how much Trump understands or cares about their unique relationship with the federal government.

“I think there was a great hope that we had here in Indian Country with the direct dialogue that President Obama had established with tribal nations,” said Duane “Chili” Yazzie, president of the Navajo Nation’s Shiprock Chapter. “If a similar effort to communicate with us were carried on by the Trump administration, I would be surprised.”

Though most reservations lean Democratic in presidential elections, Trump does have some supporters in Indian Country. They hope the businessman can turn around lagging economies in rural reservations, such as the 27,000-square-mile Navajo Nation, which covers parts of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

“Trump is pro-job growth, and tribes need a healthy dose of business creation,” said Deswood Tome, a former spokesman for the tribe from Window Rock, Arizona. “To do that, a lot of federal barriers must be removed. We’re the only ethnic group who have so much federal control in our lives.”

The Dakota Access pipeline illustrates another chasm between Obama and Trump.

This fall, the pipeline dispute led Obama’s administration to begin tackling a final piece of its Indian Country agenda: guidelines for how cabinet departments should consult with tribes on major infrastructure projects.

A top complaint from the Standing Rock Sioux was that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to properly consult with them before initially approving a pipeline route that ran beneath Lake Oahe, the tribe’s primary source of drinking water.

After the administration halted construction on the project in September to review the complaint, it held seven meetings with tribal leaders and began drafting a report on how federal officials should consult with tribes.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the report will be completed before Obama leaves office, and she expects it to have a lasting impact, even with an incoming administration that promises to undo some of the president’s policies.

What’s unclear is whether Trump, who once owned stock in the pipeline builder, will seek to reverse the Army’s decision this month to explore alternate routes.

A spokesman said only that the president-elect plans to review the move after he takes office. However, Trump’s transition team said in a recent memo to campaign supporters and congressional staff that he supports the pipeline’s completion.

In the meantime, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault has begun lobbying for a meeting with Trump to make a case for his tribe’s opposition to the project, which the chairman says threatens not just water but sacred cultural sites.

“You have to respect Mother Earth; she’s precious,” Archambault said. “You can still believe in capitalism, and you can still invest in infrastructure projects, but these infrastructure projects should be focused toward renewable energy rather than fossil fuel development.”

___

Associated Press writers Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Regina Garcia Cano in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contributed to this report.

Mary Hudetz, The Associated Press

[SOURCE]

Sitting Bull Killed by Indian Police – Dec 15, 1890

Sitting Bull by Kenneth Ferguson

Sitting Bull by Kenneth Ferguson

Red Power Media | Dec 15, 2016

After many years of successfully resisting white efforts to destroy him and the Sioux people, the great Sioux chief and holy man Sitting Bull is killed by Indian police at the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota.

One of the most famous Native Americans of the 19th century, Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) was a fierce enemy of Anglo-Americans from a young age. Deeply devoted to the traditional ways, Sitting Bull believed that contact with non-Indians undermined the strength and identity of the Sioux and would lead to their ultimate decline. However, Sitting Bull’s tactics were generally more defensive than aggressive, especially as he grew older and became a Sioux leader. Fundamentally, Sitting Bull and those associated with his tribe wished only to be left alone to pursue their traditional ways, but the Anglo settlers’ growing interest in the land and the resulting confinement of Indians to government-controlled reservations inevitably led to conflicts. Sitting Bull’s refusal to follow an 1875 order to bring his people to the Sioux reservation directly led to the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn, during which the Sioux and Cheyenne wiped out five troops of Custer’s 7th Cavalry.

After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull and his followers fled to Canada for four years. Faced with mass starvation among his people, Sitting Bull finally returned to the United States and surrendered in 1883. Sitting Bull was assigned to the Standing Rock reservation in present-day South Dakota, where he maintained considerable power despite the best efforts of the Indian bureau agents to undermine his influence. When the apocalyptic spiritual revival movement known as the Ghost Dance began to grow in popularity among the Sioux in 1890, Indian agents feared it might lead to an Indian uprising. Wrongly believing that Sitting Bull was the driving force behind the Ghost Dance, agent James McLaughlin sent Indian police to arrest the chief at his small cabin on the Grand River.

The Indian police rousted the naked chief from his bed at 6:00 in the morning, hoping to spirit him away before his guards and neighbors knew what had happened. When the fifty-nine-year-old chief refused to go quietly, a crowd gathered and a few hotheaded young men threatened the Indian police. Someone fired a shot that hit one of the Indian police; they retaliated by shooting Sitting Bull in the chest and head. The great chief was killed instantly. Before the ensuing gunfight ended, twelve other Indians were dead and three were wounded.

The man who had nobly resisted the encroachment of whites and their culture for nearly three decades was buried in a far corner of the post cemetery at Fort Yates. Two weeks later, the army brutally suppressed the Ghost Dance movement with the massacre of a band of Sioux at Wounded Knee, the final act in the long and tragic history of the American war against the Plains Indians.

[SOURCE]

Standing Rock Chairman Asks Protesters to Disband, Trump to Review Pipeline Decision

Veterans gather for a briefing inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Veterans gather for a briefing inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Reuters | Dec 5, 2016

A Native American leader asked thousands of protesters to return home after the federal government ruled against a controversial pipeline, despite the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump reversing the decision after he takes office.

A coalition of Native American groups, environmentalists, Hollywood stars and veterans of the U.S. armed forces protested the $3.8 billion oil project. They said construction would damage sacred lands and any leaks could pollute the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The tribe still wants to speak with Trump about the Dakota Access Pipeline to prevent him from approving the final phase of construction, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault told Reuters.

“The current administration did the right thing and we need to educate the incoming administration and help them understand the right decision was made,” he said.Trump’s transition team said on Monday it would review the decision to delay completion once he takes office Jan. 20.

“That’s something that we support construction of and we’ll review the full situation when we’re in the White House and make the appropriate determination at that time,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said at a transition team news briefing.

 

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as 'water protectors' continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Veterans join activists in a march just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as ‘water protectors’ continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Archambault said nothing would happen over the winter before Trump takes power, so protesters should leave. Many had dug in for the harsh winter of the North Dakota plains, where a blizzard hit on Monday and 40 miles-per-hour (64 kmh) winds rattled tipis and tents.

“We’re thankful for everyone who joined this cause and stood with us,” he said. “The people who are supporting us … they can return home and enjoy this winter with their families. Same with law enforcement. I am asking them to go.”

It was unclear if protesters would heed Archambault’s call to leave the Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

SHORT-LIVED VICTORY

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected an application for the pipeline to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

The Army Corps said it would analyze possible alternate routes, although any other route is likely to cross the Missouri River.

The camp celebrated the decision, but some expressed concern their victory could be short-lived.

“I think this is just a rest,” Charlotte Bad Cob, 30, of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, said on Sunday. “With a new government it could turn and we could be at it again.”

On Monday, tribal leaders and hundreds of veterans walked to Backwater Bridge, one of the focal points of the protests, and offered prayers and chanted after the victory.

Several veterans said they had no plans to leave and suspected Sunday’s decision was a ruse to empty the camp.

Veterans listen to Arvol Looking Horse during a healing ceremony hosted by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Veterans listen to Arvol Looking Horse during a healing ceremony hosted by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

The company building the 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, said late on Sunday that it had no plans to reroute the line, and expected to complete the project.

The Obama administration’s decision was a “political action”, ETP said in a joint statement on Sunday with its partner Sunoco Logistics Partners.

The pipeline is complete except for a 1-mile (1.61 km)segment that was to run under Lake Oahe, which required permission from federal authorities.

The chief executive of ETP, Kelcy Warren, donated to Trump’s campaign, while the president-elect has investments in ETP and Phillips 66, another partner in the project.

As of Trump’s mid-2016 financial disclosure form, his stake in ETP was between $15,000 and $50,000, down from between $500,000 and $1 million in mid-2015. He had between $100,000 and $250,000 in shares of Phillips, according to federal forms.

(Writing by David Gaffen and Simon Webb; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Alan Crosby)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13T0QX

U.S. Veterans to Form Human Shield at Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock

Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock

By Terray Sylvester | Cannon Ball N.D

More than 2,000 U.S. military veterans plan to form a human shield to protect protesters of a pipeline project near a Native American reservation in North Dakota, organizers said, just ahead of a federal deadline for activists to leave the camp they have been occupying.

It comes as North Dakota law enforcement backed away from a previous plan to cut off supplies to the camp – an idea quickly abandoned after an outcry and with law enforcement’s treatment of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters increasingly under the microscope.

The protesters have spent months rallying against plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying it poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites.

Protesters include various Native American tribes as well as environmentalists and even actors including Shailene Woodley.

State officials issued an order on Monday for activists to vacate the Oceti Sakowin camp, located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, citing harsh weather conditions.

The state’s latest decision not to stop cars entering the protest site indicated local officials will not actively enforce Monday’s emergency order to evacuate the camp issued by Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Dalrymple warned on Wednesday that it was “probably not feasible” to reroute the pipeline, but said he had requested a meeting with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council to rebuild a relationship.

“We need to begin now to talk about how we are going to return to a peaceful relationship,” he said on a conference call.

The 1,172-mile (1,885 km) pipeline project, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP.N), is mostly complete, except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, a contingent of more than 2,000 U.S. military veterans, intends to go to North Dakota by this weekend and form a human wall in front of police, protest organizers said on a Facebook page. Organizers could not immediately be reached for comment.

“I figured this was more important than anything else I could be doing,” Guy Dull Knife, 69, a Vietnam War Army veteran, told Reuters at the main camp.

Dull Knife, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, said he has been camping at the protest site for months.

Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rob Keller said in an email his agency was aware of the veterans’ plans, but would not comment further on how law enforcement will deal with demonstrators.

Former U.S. Marine Michael A. Wood Jr is leading the effort along with Wesley Clark Jr, a writer whose father is retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii and a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, has said on Twitter she will join the protesters on Sunday.

The Army Corps, citing safety concerns, has ordered the evacuation of the primary protest camp by Dec. 5, but said it would not forcibly remove people from the land.

Local law enforcement said on Tuesday they planned a blockade of the camp, but local and state officials later retreated, saying they would only check vehicles for certain prohibited supplies like propane, and possibly issue fines.

Dalrymple on Wednesday said state officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters and there had been no plans to block food or other supplies from the camp. “That would be a huge mistake from a humanitarian standpoint,” he said on the conference call.

He also warned protesters that while emergency responders will try to reach anyone in need, that would be contingent on weather conditions.

Protesters, who refer to themselves as “water protectors,” have been gearing up for the winter while they await the Army Corps decision on whether to allow Energy Transfer Partners to tunnel under the river. That decision has been delayed twice by the Army Corps.

(Additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Houston and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Matthew Lewis)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13P2C8

US Army Corps: Those Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline Will Not Be Forcibly Removed

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Protesters block a highway during a protest in Mandan against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, U.S. November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Army Corps seeking peaceful transition to free speech zone

By Red Power Media, Staff | Nov 28, 2016

Water protectors protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota vowed Saturday to remain in their camp after the US Army Corps of Engineers told them to leave the federal land they’ve occupied.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday, Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters seeking to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, but both the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they have no plans for “forcible removal” of the protesters.

The Army Corps provided an update Sunday, on their plans to close off their land involved in protests against the Energy Transfer Partners LP, pipeline project.

According to Aljazeera, the Army Corps which manages the government land where the main camp protesting the Dakota Access pipeline is located, said last week it would close public access to the area on Dec 5.

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On Sunday, the Army Corps said it had no plans to “forcibly remove” anyone who remains, though a statement said that to do so was risky. The statement said anyone who remained would be considered unauthorized and could be subject to various citations.

Although the order said people who defy it could face legal consequences, officials said Monday the state also would not seek to forcibly remove people.

Citing increased violence between water protectors and law enforcement and the increasingly harsh winter conditions, on Friday the Army Corps said it decided to close its land to the protesters who have been there since early April.

The Corps, has established a free speech zone on land south of the Cannonball River and is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to the safer location.

This transition is also necessary to protect the general public from the dangerous confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement officials which have occurred near this area. “Unfortunately, it is apparent that more dangerous groups have joined this protest and are provoking conflict in spite of the public pleas from Tribal leaders. We are working to transition those engaged in peaceful protest from this area and enable law enforcement authorities to address violent or illegal acts as appropriate to protect public safety,” said Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson.

Free Speech Area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

Free Speech Area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

The Army Corps, asked the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, in a letter to tell members of his tribe, along with supporters there, to move to a free speech zone, — which is slightly more than 41 acres and provides clearer jurisdiction for police, fire and medical units.

MPR News reports, Oceti Sakowin is on federal land, but according to treaties cited by tribal leaders, the land and the rivers belonged to the Sioux Tribe.

Archambault II and other protest organizers made it clear that they planned to stay in the Oceti Sakowin camp — one of three camps near the pipeline construction site.

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Nick Tilsen with the Indigenous Peoples Power Project, pictured here on Nov. 26, 2016, says Native Americans are not going to move out of Oceti Sakowin Camp “unless it’s on our own terms because this is our treaty land.” Doualy Xaykaothao | MPR News

As news of the Army Corps’ intention to shut down the camp spread over the weekend, people like environmental activist Nick Tilsen expressed renewed resolve.

“Indigenous people are here to stay,” he said.

Tribal elders call the Standing Rock protest movement a spiritual war and rebirth for Native Americans everywhere.

An Oglala Sioux member from South Dakota, told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We have every right to be here to protect our land and to protect our water.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, believe the Dakota Access pipeline could contaminate their water source, the Missouri River, and desecrate the tribe’s sacred sites.