Dakota Access Standoff Calls on Obama.

The Camp of the Sacred Stones has swelled from a few dozen to more than 2,500, according to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials. They are calling for further review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the end of July without a full environmental assessment. Courtesy Little Redfeather Design/Honor the Earth.

The Camp of the Sacred Stones has swelled from a few dozen to more than 2,500, according to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials. They are calling for further review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the end of July without a full environmental assessment. Courtesy Little Redfeather Design/Honor the Earth.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II continued calling for peace and nonviolence as demonstrations continued at a construction site for the Dakota Access oil pipeline, a day after a federal district court in North Dakota granted a temporary restraining order against those it deemed were interfering with the work.

“As we have said from the beginning, demonstrations regarding the Dakota Access pipeline must be peaceful,” Archambault said in a statement to reporters on August 17. “There is no place for threats, violence or criminal activity. That is simply not our way. So, the Tribe will do all it can to see that participants comply with the law and maintain the peace. That was our position before the injunction, and that is our position now.”

Archambault also alluded to President Barack Obama’s 2014 visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and his offer of help, noting that back then he did not ask the President for anything.

“I just showed him the reality of our lives,” Archambault said. “I believe both he and Michelle Obama were touched. So now if there’s any way he can intervene and move this pipeline off our treaty lands, I’m asking him.”

The temporary restraining order, dated August 16, prohibits the named defendants “and unidentified individuals,” designated as John and Jane Does, “from interfering with its right to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline (the “Pipeline”) in accordance with all local, state, and federal approvals it has obtained,” read Dakota Access LLC’s request to the court. Construction was halted due to “safety concerns,” the company said.

People vowing to protect the waters of the Missouri have gathered on land along the river owned by Standing Rock tribal member LaDonna Allard. The Sacred Stone Spiritual Camp, as it is called, has been occupied since April. It swelled from a few dozen a week ago to more than 2,500 by August 17, according to an estimate by tribal officials.

The court sided with Dakota Access LLC and granted the restraining order on the grounds that the permits were valid and thus give the company the right to start construction on the portion that will cross Lake Oahe, which was formed by the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River.

“Dakota Access has obtained the necessary easements and rights of way to construct the Pipeline in North Dakota and the necessary federal, state, and local permits for the Oahe Crossing,” the court said in its motion. “In accordance with the permits and approvals obtained for the Pipeline project, Dakota Access has commenced construction activities in North Dakota.”


The $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile-long pipeline would cross the Missouri River itself, in addition to the lake. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials say that in crossing Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, the pipeline would disturb burial grounds and sacred sites on ancestral Treaty lands. Archambault said that over the past several days he had met and spoken with everyone from demonstrators, to tribal government and spiritual leaders, to state and local law enforcement officials.

“In all of these meetings, my message has been consistent—we need to work together in peace,” he said. “And, as I continue to spread this message, I believe that the word is getting out. Standing Rock wants there to be peace.”

The chairman said he has also met over the past year with federal officials from numerous agencies “to express the Tribe’s strong opposition and to let them know that we will be heard,” and noted the upcoming hearing on the tribe’s lawsuit against the Army Corps.

“Our basic position is that the Corps of Engineers has failed to follow the law and has failed to consider the impacts of the pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,” he said.

Also pending is a lawsuit filed by Dakota Access LLC against Archambault and several others simultaneously with the motion for a restraining order. The suit was filed after Archambault and about a dozen others were arrested during the demonstrations on August 11. Construction began on August 10.

Numerous tribes have expressed support for the Standing Rock Sioux, responding to a request for “proclamations, resolutions and/or letters of support,” the tribe said in an August 15 statement. All the tribe wants, Archambault said, is that the pipeline not be built across Treaty lands.

Sacred Rock Camp.  –  Rezpect Our Water.  –   Via ICTMN.

Feds Grant TRO Against Standing Rock Members.


Federal Court Grants TRO against Standing Rock Members in SLAPP Suit related to Dakota Access Pipeline

Here are the materials in Dakota Access LLC v. Archambault (D.N.D.):

1 Complaint

4 Motion for TRO

7 DCT Order Granting TRO

Via Turtle Talk.

Dakota Access Pipeline Standoff.

Courtesy Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Opposition Police line up before protesters near the construction site of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Courtesy Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Opposition
Police line up before protesters near the construction site of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project is back in the news. Over the weekend, tribal activists faced off against lines of police in Hunkpapa Territory near Cannon Ball as construction crews prepared to break ground for the new pipeline, while Standing Rock Sioux governmental officials resolved to broaden their legal battle to stop the project.

On July 26, 2016 the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was stunned to learn that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had given its approval for the pipeline to run within a half-mile of the reservation without proper consultation or consent. Also, the new 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline will cross Lake Oahe (formed by Oahe Dam on the Missouri) and the Missouri River as well, and disturb burial grounds and sacred sites on the tribe’s ancestral Treaty lands, according to SRST officials.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners will build, own and operate the proposed $3.78 billion Dakota Access Pipeline and plans to transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil fracked from the Bakken oil fields across four states to a market hub in Illinois. The pipeline—already facing widespread opposition by a coalition of farmers, ranchers and environmental groups—will cross 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries, according to Dakota Access, LLC.

Standing Rock Sioux leaders say the pipeline will threaten the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of drinking and irrigation water, and forever destroy burial grounds and sacred sites.

“We don’t want this black snake within our Treaty boundaries,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II. “We need to stop this pipeline that threatens our water. We have said repeatedly we don’t want it here. We want the Army Corps to honor the same rights and protections that were afforded to others, rights we were never afforded when it comes to our territories. We demand the pipeline be stopped and kept off our Treaty boundaries.”

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Indigenous Economics and Environmentalism.

 Indian Affairs Archives

Indian Affairs Archives.

“We know our lands have now become more valuable. The white people think we do not know their value; but we know that the land is everlasting, and the few goods we receive for it are soon worn out and gone.”

Canassatego, circa 1740

“…your money is not as good as our land, is it? The wind will blow it away; the fire will burn it; water will rot it. Nothing will destroy our land.”

Crowfoot, Siksika, 1877

Quick Story: I saw some images today of the direct action going on at the Sacred Stone Camp in Hunkpapa territory right now, where Native people are organizing against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Powerful images, powerful movement. And although I was going to write about something else, Hunkpapa made me realize how long Native people have been organizing against these dirty energy projects—choosing to turn down huge sums of money—to protect the earth from folks who would tear up our homelands.  Those photos made me realize that we’ve been doing this for a long time. From Northern Cheyenne to the Blackfeet Nation to Lummi to Standing Rock, so many of our folks simply will not take a few bucks in exchange for destroying our relationship with Earth.  Please look at these images—pray for these warriors on the front line right now, in real time, in Hunkpapa territory.  Send some thoughts, prayers and food.  Share the images; it all helps.  But there is a reasonable question of why do Native people keep on fighting against what the white folks call “progress” and “economic development?”

Why can’t Native people just take the money and run?

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Whitehouse.gov.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Whitehouse.gov.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, as many as 2 million sheep grazed on the Navajo Nation.

That was in addition to hundreds of thousands of goats, cattle and horses that foraged on the 27,000-square-mile reservation spanning parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo population itself had quintupled since 1870 and, at the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, about 39,000 Navajos lived on the sprawling reservation, embracing a life of pastoralism and moving livestock from winter homes to summer pastures.

But the Navajo, who were almost entirely dependent on income from sheep and wool, were hit hard by the worst economic disaster in American history. The livestock population skyrocketed while revenues plummeted, and the Navajo Agency reported in 1933 that income had “greatly reduced to the vanishing point,” according to Raymond Friday Locke’s “The Book of the Navajo.”

The land was also showing signs of overgrazing and environmental distress, and its deepening gullies and parched vegetation caught the attention of the federal government. Four months after Roosevelt took office, his newly appointed commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier, toured the Navajo Nation and proposed an aggressive and often coercive livestock reduction program.

John Collier. Corbis image/Wikipedia.

John Collier. Corbis image/Wikipedia.

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Summer Slide Reading for Kids.

Six great books for kids to read over summer, when learning is definitely not on their minds. If you can request these books at your local library, that would be great because a lot of books by Native authors don’t make it in library reviews, and librarians can only respond to what readers want. If you want these, librarians will make the magic happen.

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III

Joseph Marshall III’s In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse (Harry N. Abrams, 2015) has a lot going for it. First off, it’s set in the present day. The main character, Jimmy, is Lakota. But, he has blue eyes and light brown hair because his lineage includes people who aren’t Native. That means he gets teased for his looks. In steps his grandpa, who takes him on a road trip. As they drive, Jimmy learns about Crazy Horse, but he also learns that Native people have different names for places. One example is the Oregon Trail. Jimmy’s grandpa tells him that Native people call it Shell River Road. Marshall’s storytelling is vibrant and engaging, and the perfect tone for kids in middle school.





Arigon Starr’s “Super Indian” comics poke fun at many topics.You can’t miss with Arigon Starr’s Super Indian (Wacky Productions Unlimited) stories. She’s got the inside track on telling it like it is. Or, could be, if eating commodity cheese could give you super powers. In other words, every panel of Starr’s comics is a reflection of Native life, and she brilliantly pokes at the uber popular Twilight books and movies, and testy issues like blood quantum. There’s a ka-pow to this super power series (two volumes at this point) that will have you and your kids laughing out loud.



A Blanket of Butterflies by Richard Van Camp.Richard Van Camp’s A Blanket of Butterflies (HighWater Press, 2015) is riveting. This graphic novel opens with a boy who looks to be in his early teens, standing in front of a samurai suit of armor in a display case in his tribe’s museum. That suit is going to be returned to its original owner, but the sword is missing. That launches this fast-paced story in which Van Camp provides us with an opportunity to think about museums and who owns items in them.






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Standing On Sacred Ground

Eight Cultures, One Fight.

Around the world, indigenous people stand up for their traditional sacred lands in defense of cultural survival, human rights and the environment.

Watch them stand against industrial mega-projects, consumer culture, resource extraction, competing religions, tourists and climate change.


As part of a four-part documentary series on indigenous struggles over sacred sites that was over seven years in the making, Standing on Sacred Ground, will be broadcast on PBS’s First Nations Experience channel (FNX) as well as other stations to include KQED through April and May, nationally on WorldChannel and the San Francisco Bay Area station KCSM beginning Sunday, April 17 through Friday, April 22 (Earth Day.) … The project airs over the course of four episodes and includes stories on the indigenous shamans of the Altai Republic of Russia, a northern California tribe, the Papua New Guinea people, the First Nations near the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, the Gamo Highland peoples of Ethiopia to the indigenous communities near the Andes of Peru, as well as Aboriginal Australians and Native Hawaiians.

Standing On Sacred Ground Home. Broadcast Schedule. ICTMN article.