As winter settles in, in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, the protesters of a proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, are also settling into their encampment, preparing for the weeks or months to come. Their preparations are going on, despite an eviction notice issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, on Black Friday. The notice demanded that the protesters leave the area by December 5th, as it was being closed to the public for safety reasons.
Protesters won’t honor eviction notice
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman, Harold Frazier quickly fired off his own letter to the Army Corps of Engineers Commander, John Henderson. Frazier noted that the land the protesters were on was in fact the ancestral homeland of the Lakota people and inside the boundaries of the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty.
Frazier went on to say that he had no intention of telling the water protectors they had to leave. The letter, printed in Native News Online, stated that he recognized and respected the protesters Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly. Protesters have been setting up tents and makeshift dwellings to prepare for the bad weather ahead of them. Some of the protesters have brought in motorhomes and small trailers, fully planning on settling in for the winter, if necessary.
Sheriff says he will continue to enforce the law
Morton County Sheriff, Kyle Kirchmeier plans to continue enforcing the law. According to Global News, Kirchmeir stated, “We are just not going to allow people to become unlawful.” The stand-off between the Standing Rock protesters and the police has cost the county over 8 million dollars since it began several months ago, and there seems to be no end in sight."
Both the Tribal leaders and the government agencies have called on President Obama to end the stand-off. Both want him to side in favor of their individual views. While President Obama keeps a watchful eye on the Dakota Pipeline Access controversy, he has not made any firm statements for either side.
He did consider rerouting the pipeline away from tribal land and the river they are protecting, but Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, told Associated Press that they won’t even consider that possibility. So, it seems that both sides have taken a firm stand and neither is willing to negotiate any other terms to settle this dispute peacefully.
The crude oil pipeline is slated to run through Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. ##standing rock sioux in North Dakota fear that the 3.8-billion-dollar pipeline that needs to run beneath their water source will eventually leak and contaminate the water they depend on for survival. They are also trying to protect their sacred tribal lands from being destroyed during construction of the pipeline.