Dakota Access Pipeline Protests: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

dakota access pipeline

Native American protesters are confronted by a security team with dogs as they protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Cannonball, North Dakota, on September 3. (Getty)

The Dakota Access Pipeline protests (or DAPL) have sparked a historic clash between Native American protesters (who are called Water Protectors) and law enforcement over a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline that would traverse four states.

The months-long protests – which have only grown despite mass arrests, claims of injury and dramatic images of protesters on horseback facing off against police officers in armored vehicles – are simply the Native American people’s way of saying: Enough. At long last, Enough.

However, on January 24, new President Donald Trump – who had investments in the company building the pipeline – signed an executive order to advance it forward. You can read more about that here.

There have been a series of troubling allegations throughout the months of protests: snarling dogs were used against protesters, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe claims burial grounds were bulldozed, a woman’s arm was blown off, another woman allegedly fired a weapon in a struggle with a cop, and law enforcement officials have used an increasingly militarized approach to force mass arrests when protests veer onto private property. The scene has also brought moving images of peace, unity, and prayer as children, elders, and people of every age in between say they are fighting to protect the earth.

The Water Protectors  (and the people of all races who have joined them) have alleged a series of human rights abuses at the scene of the protests, even saying they were kept in mesh enclosures that resembled dog kennels and had numbers drawn on their arms; law enforcement said the temporary shelters were surrounded by chain link fences. A group of military veterans is now organizing to join the protests in December to help the Water Protectors.

The North Dakota protest site at the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux has grown into “the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years,” reports the BBC. The protesters, who have gathered together from multiple tribes, and others supporting the cause, say they are taking a stand for future generations against the four state Dakota Access Pipeline Project, and are trying to preserve their cultural and spiritual heritage. The gathering is “historic,” Judith LeBlanc, director of the New York-based Native Organizers Alliance, told ABC News, adding, “There’s never been a coming together of tribes like this.”

Citizens have routinely posted videos of the scene on social media. One had more than 300,000 views in just a few days:

On September 9, a federal judge denied the tribes’ legal request to temporarily stop the pipeline, said ABC News. The Los Angeles Times reported that “U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued an order in Washington that lifted a temporary halt on a portion of the pipeline that crossed public land.” However, a short time later the U.S. Department of Justice announced it was stepping in, saying “that the Corps of Engineers will at least temporarily halt authorization for construction of the pipeline around Lake Oahe, while it reviews its previous decisions regarding this large reservoir,” according to ABC.

That hasn’t stopped the protests or the clashes. Three days before that ruling, the North Dakota governor activated 100 National Guard troops on September 8 in advance of the expected ruling by the federal judge, said Reuters.There were reports of injuries on both sides — of people and dogs — as protesters and security clashed violently on September 3. The tribal chairman contended that burial grounds were destroyed and desecrated by bulldozers.

A protestor is treated after being pepper sprayed by private security contractors on land being graded for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. Hundreds of Native American protestors and their supporters, who fear the Dakota Access Pipeline will polluted their water, forced construction workers and security forces to retreat and work to stop. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty)

A photo from the scene of the protest on September 3. (Getty)

“In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground,” the tribal chairman said, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is worried that the pipeline will negatively impact water quality on its reservation and imperil cultural heritage sites, reports The Dallas Morning News. Meanwhile, proponents of the project say it will boost the economy, creating thousands of construction jobs.

dakota access pipeline protest

Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline, on September 4 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (Getty)

According to Energy Transfer Partners, the company whose subsidiary is developing the project, the 1,172-mile pipeline “will connect the rapidly expanding Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois,” transporting some 470,000 barrels a day. “The pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Guards Previously Used Attack Dogs Against Protesters & Law Enforcement Used Military Vehicles in the Mass Arrest

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Native American protesters and their supporters are confronted by security during a demonstration against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. (Getty)

In October, CNN said the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline (also known as “DAPL”) were culminating into a possible “final showdown” between law enforcement and protesters. By the end of the day, 141 people were arrested after a violent clash in which a protester fired a gun, law enforcement fired beanbags, and barricades burned. The protesters were on horseback; the police in riot gear. Despite the arrests, the protesters insisted they won’t back down.

And they haven’t. The protests have continued throughout the month of November, culminating in protester’s severe arm injury. The protests have grown increasingly militarized, as police show up in armored vehicles and riot gear to combat what they say are aggressive intrusions onto private land; Veterans of the U.S. military are now organizing to join the  DAPL protest in early December to stand between the police and protesters.

More than 130,000 people had checked in on Facebook in one several day period this fall at the Standing Rock reservation after reports that law enforcement was using Facebook check-ins and geotargeting to figure out who was protesting.

A temporary truce was negotiated by a tribal elder, Miles Allard, of the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, who persuaded protesters to walk away from one clash so they wouldn’t get killed, said The Seattle Times, which added that he said the Standing Rock people would win the issue with prayer instead of violence. However, the clashes have grown in intensity since that time.

Social media filled with dramatic photos, videos and eyewitness accounts of dogs being used against protesters on September 3, including reports of injuries and pepper spray being allegedly directed at protesters.

The tribal spokesman said multiple protesters were pepper-sprayed and bitten in September, including a child. The company’s spokeswoman told Heavy that “unwarranted violence occurred on private property under easement to Dakota Access Pipeline, resulting in injury to multiple members of our security personnel and several dogs” on September 3.

On October 27, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department wrote on Facebook, “Authorities have repeatedly told protesters they are ‘free to go,’ asking them to move to the south camp. Protesters have set tires on Highway 1806 on fire. Law enforcement are telling protesters to move so they can put the fire out. A Long Range Acoustic device which sends a high-pitch warning tone. It is used to control and disperse the crowd of protesters.”

dakota access pipeline

The scene on October 27. (Morton County Sheriff’s Department)

The scene grew more intense as militarized vehicles showed up at the scene and protesters lit a barricade on fire. The crowd shouted, “hands up don’t shoot.” NBC said the 141 arrests came by midnight after protesters set barricades on fire, threw rocks and “improvised fire bombs” at officers, and one woman fired shots from a revolver but didn’t injure anyone. Officers used pepper spray and fired beanbags at protesters, said NBC.

The elder, Allard, told the Seattle Times: “I am a common man, a man of prayer. We live our lives in peace and nonviolence.” The newspaper said he persuaded the protesters known as “Water Protectors” to put rocks back in the river and take down barricades. He told the newspaper the tribe would try to win the argument with prayer, not violence.

However, the Water Protectors have claimed they were subjected to human rights abuses, including being placed in what they felt were shelters similar to dog kennels.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called on the Obama administration to intervene to protect the protesters.

Protesters have said ta female protester’s arm <a href=”http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/sophia-wilanski-north-dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-protest-concussion-grenade-police-woman-lose-arm-bomb-photos/”>was blown off</a>. In the latter incident, the Standing Rock Medic and Healing Council <a href=”https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sU15VLnlJlEdVB4H6SmLaQ2gQ25mtSjpFpVu4daGVTE/preview” target=”_blank”>released a statement </a>that said in part, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has stated that she was injured by a purported propane explosion that the Sheriff’s Department claimed the unarmed people created. These statements are refuted by Sophia’s testimony, by several eye-witnesses who watched police intentionally throw concussion grenades at unarmed people, by the lack of charring of flesh at the wound site and by the grenade pieces that have been removed from her arm in surgery and will be saved for legal proceedings.”

The veterans’ site says, on November 20, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department’s “forces attacked water protectors with water cannons in freezing temperatures and launched concussion grenades into a peaceful crowd. Several had to be treated for hypothermia and one protester who was hit directly with a grenade has reportedly had her arm amputated as a result.”

The Sheriff’s Department has posted a response on Facebook.

The Wall Street Journal reports the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have united “groups of Native Americans, landowners and environmentalists.”

Activist Winona LaDuke wrote on EcoWatch that the pipeline struggle represents “the future of a people. All of us. If I ask the question ‘What would Sitting Bull do?’ — the answer is pretty clear. He would remind me what he said 150 years ago: ‘Let us put our minds together to see what kind of future we can make for our children.'”

The September confrontation led to dramatic images of snarling dogs being used against protesters at the scene.

“As demonstrators came to stop the tractors, they had encountered private security armed with pepper spray, attack dogs, and zip ties. Warriors on the front line were attacked for protecting the land and water,” wrote one man on Facebook. “Pregnant women were maced, young children and horses were attacked by dogs … the water provides life for the animals, the crops, the land, and millions of people.”



The clashes have grown in intensity.

dakota access pipeline

A protester is treated after being pepper sprayed by private security contractors on land being graded for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. The tribe says that multiple people were pepper sprayed and bitten by dogs. The energy company says private security and dogs were injured. (Getty)

According to the Daily Mail, quoting the Associated Press, the Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey said “four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured,” and the tribal spokesman said six protesters were bitten by dogs, including a child, and 30 people were pepper-sprayed.

People posted dramatic eyewitness accounts from the scene.

Some protesters claimed people were bit by dogs:

Numerous posts on social media as well as photographers at the scene claimed the dogs were used by private security.

Some protesters claimed one dog had blood on its mouth.

One photo shows an injury:

Heavy reached out to Energy Transfer’s spokeswoman, Vicki Granado, and asked whether it was true that private security hired by the company used dogs and mace against protesters, and, if so, why, and how many were injured. Granado provided this statement on September 3:

What has been represented over the past several weeks as a peaceful protest is simply not the case. We are greatly saddened and extremely bothered to confirm that today, unwarranted violence occurred on private property under easement to Dakota Access Pipeline, resulting in injury to multiple members of our security personnel and several dogs. It is unfortunate that what has been portrayed as a peaceful protest by the opponents of the pipeline has now turned to violence and intimidation by a group of criminals and activists. Assailants broke through a fence and attacked our workers. We are working with law enforcement to ensure that all offenders are arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will not tolerate the assault and/or injury to our employees or contractors. The safety of all those associated with our project and those living in the area is our top priority. We are hopeful that state and federal law enforcement and the tribal leaders will do their part to maintain order and to ensure a peaceful protest.

People also posted videos of the scene on Facebook:

Videos were also posted on YouTube:

“The Morton County Sheriff’s Department says that their law enforcement officers did not use pepper spray or tear gas and did not have dogs,” said KFYR-TV. The Associated Press quoted the sheriff as saying, “individuals crossed onto private property and accosted private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles.”

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Private security used dogs at the protest on September 3. Both sides claimed injury. The Native American tribe says the protests could endanger water quality. (Getty)

It’s not the first intense clash at the site of the protest. On August 31, the Sheriff’s Department said eight protesters were arrested after protesters chained themselves to construction equipment.

You can see maps of the project route here.

2. The Native American Protesters Said They Are Prepared for a ‘Long Battle’ & Have Taken Their Case to Court

The Energy Transfer company says on its website that the company “is developing a new pipeline to provide crude oil transportation service from point(s) of origin in the Bakken/Three Forks play in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.” The site contains additional details about the pipeline, including safety.

The tribe has made its stand in federal court as well as at the construction site. However, a federal judge disagreed with the tribe in a ruling on September 9. You can read that decision in full here:

The Wall Street Journal says the tribe has sued in federal court seeking to stop construction of the pipeline with a decision expected in early September. “The tribe has argued that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly granted permits for the project,” says the newspaper.

You can read the lawsuit here.

The tribe filed an emergency motion on September 4 for a temporary restraining order “to prevent further destruction of the tribe’s sacred sites by Dakota Access Pipeline,” said KCCI, quoting the tribal chairman as saying, “On Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts. They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites.”

north dakota access pipeline

Native American protestors and their supporters demonstrate against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. (Getty)

In a September 5 filing posted by Indianz.com, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrote that it does not oppose the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s motion for a temporary restraining order as to any additional construction work on the pipeline within 20 miles on either side of Lake Oahu in North Dakota until the court rules on the suit. The Corps wrote that the “public interest would be served by preserving peace near Lake Oahu until the court can render” its decision.

On September 6, U.S. District Judge Boasberg had said “work will temporarily stop between North Dakota’s State Highway 1806 and 20 miles east of Lake Oahe, but will continue west of the highway because he believes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lacks jurisdiction on private land,” ABC News said, but he lifted that order on the 9th. Also, in court, the tribe said the partial ruling could imperil sacred sites, and alleged that bulldozed areas had human remains; the sheriff said some protesters possessed knives and hatchets, according to ABC.

The Justice Department, in stepping in, said nationwide reform should be considered to better contemplate tribal views on infrastructure projects, says ABC News. The government is asking the pipeline company to voluntary stop construction within 20 miles of Lake Oahe during the review, said ABC.

The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior wrote in a joint press release after the judge’s decision that “important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.”

The press release continued, “The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws. Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.”

The government said it will “invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.”

The Standing Rock tribe lists many other Indian nations as well as other organizations and communities that have joined its cause. Read the list here.

The Bismarck Tribune says the company temporarily halted construction while the suit is pending.

North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley has called the protests “unlawful” and an increasingly dangerous situation as the camps grew to as many as 4,000 people.

3. A Texas Billionaire Is Behind the Pipeline Project

North Dakota Access Pipeline protests

Protesters hold a rally with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in support of a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers and plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline outside the US District Court in Washington, DC, August 24, 2016. (Getty)

Energy Transfer is owned by Kelcy Warren, a Texas entrepreneur worth $4 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.

In 2015, Bloomberg wrote in an extensive profile of Warren, “pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren is having fun in the oil bust.” The profile said Warren lives in a 23,000-square-foot home complete with “chip-and-putt green, a pole-vault pit, a four-lane bowling alley, and a 200-seat theater where the billionaire’s musician pals play private concerts.” Protests have also occurred outside the company’s Dallas building, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Native American protesters are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation while they protest the pipeline’s construction, says BBC. A community has arisen as the tribe is joined by representatives of other Indian nations, environmentalists, and others who support the tribe’s cause.

The pipeline would be the first to “allow movement of crude oil from the Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast,” Reuters says.

The tribe has created a donation fund. You can access it here.

A petition against the pipeline on Change.org has more than 280,000 supporters.

Dakota Access Pipeline

A protester yells at a truck with workers and security agents on the worksite for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. (Getty)

Some believe the media are not giving enough coverage to the protests, which they see as a troubling repeat of the past, with protest movements and the Native American cause in general marginalized or stigmatized by the news media.

However, social media has allowed the Indian voices to be heard more widely than they would have been in, say, the 1960s.

Filming Cops, which describes itself as a movement for police accountability, wrote on Facebook, “MEDIA BLACKOUT: There are now HUNDREDS of tribes and THOUSANDS of Native American protesters and others TAKING A STAND against the Dakota Access pipeline! Help SPREAD THE WORD cause the #MainstreamMedia is REFUSING to cover this!”

dakota access pipeline protest

Protesters have tried to stop construction of the pipeline, which will traverse four states. They are concerned the oil could leak into the tribe’s water supply. Other tribes and environmental groups are among those who have joined the tribe’s cause. (Getty)

The Standing Rock tribe, on its website, says, “The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,168-mile long crude oil pipeline that will transport nearly 570,000 barrels of oil each day from North Dakota to Illinois. The Army Corps of Engineers green-lighted several sections of the process without fully satisfying the National Historic Preservation Act, various environmental statutes, and its trust responsibility to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”

However, the Sheriff’s Department has continued to insist that protesters are out of line. According to NPR, the Sheriff’s Department said of the September 3 protest, “Once protesters arrived at the construction area, they broke down a wire fence by stepping and jumping on it. According to numerous witnesses within five minutes the crowd of protesters, estimated to be a few hundred people became violent. They stampeded into the construction area with horses, dogs and vehicles.”

KCCI says the Sheriff’s Department also contends some private security members said knives were pulled on them.

4. Hollywood Celebrities Such as Susan Sarandon Have Joined the Protests, & Authorities Said Green Party Nominee Jill Stein Might Be Charged

dakota access pipeline, susan sarandon

Actress Susan Sarandon speaks during a rally and protest by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in support of a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers and plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline outside the US District Court in Washington, D.C., August 24, 2016. (Getty)

Authorities said they “plan to pursue charges” of trespassing and vandalism against the Green Party’s nominee for president Jill Stein “for spray-painting construction equipment at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest,” according to ABC News. You can watch video of Stein spray painting here. Stein, in turn, shared a quote from Sitting Bull and questioned why others weren’t possibly facing charges.

Before the news that Stein could possibly face charges for spray painting a bulldozer blade, the presidential candidate tweeted her support for the protesters. Stein wrote on her campaign website that she believes the pipeline “would violate U.S. treaties by endangering the drinking water and sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.” Around the same time the news broke on potential charges, she tweeted a quote from Sitting Bull:

Stein questioned why she is the only person who might face charges:

Energy Transfer Partners declined comment on the Stein matter.

CNN says the pipeline’s proponents “tout its economic boost,” including millions of dollars in income and sales taxes and creation of thousands of jobs.

The project developer, Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil, says the pipeline would help the United States become less dependent on foreign oil, and they claim the crude oil is moved in an environmentally responsible manner, says CNN.

dakota access pipeline

Dakota Access pipeline route. (Energy Transfer)

Energy Transfer says on its website, “We need to close the gap between what we produce as a country and what we consume before we can be truly independent of foreign imports. While the U.S. produced 7.5 million barrels of crude oil per day in 2013, it still imported 7.7 million barrels per day in order to meet consumer demands.”

The company also says the project will create 8,000 to 12,000 local jobs during construction and adds that the pipeline “will translate into millions in state and local revenues during the construction phase and an estimated $129 million annually in property and income taxes.”

State utilities boards and commissions have granted approvals for the project, and the company has sought voluntary easement agreements from property owners, according to a press release on the company’s website.

You can read company fact sheets on each state affected here.

Others raise concern, among other things, about the possibility of leaks. The New York Times says the pipeline would carry 470,000 barrels of oil a day to Illinois.

KCCI says 30 environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, “have slammed the pipeline project, calling it ‘yet another example of an oil pipeline project being permitted without public engagement or sufficient environmental review.'”

dakota access pipeline protest

Boys enjoy a later afternoon horseback ride at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL). (Getty)

The tribe wrote in its lawsuit that it is concerned “with impacts to the habitat of wildlife
species such as piping plovers, least tern, Dakota skipper, and pallid sturgeon, among others. The Tribe has a particular concern for bald eagles, which remain federally protected and play a significant role in the Tribe’s culture, and which would be adversely affected by the proposed pipeline. The Tribe is greatly concerned with the possibility of oil spills and leaks from the pipeline should it be constructed and operated, particularly into waters that are of considerable economic, religious, and cultural importance to the Tribe.”

Hollywood celebrities have joined the protests, including the actress Susan Sarandon. The New York Times says the protests have centered in the town of Cannon Ball, which is located in south central North Dakota.

Leonardo DiCaprio wrote on Facebook: “Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux in their opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline which threatens our climate.”

The New York Times says 20 people were arrested as of August 26 as heated confrontations also occurred as protesters focus on a site where preparatory work is being done; in addition, the Times says that the company has sued some protesters, alleging they are threatening and intimidating contractors.

5. The Standing Rock Tribe Is Concerned About the Impact on Water Quality for Millions

dakota access pipeline

Native American protesters and their supporters are confronted by security during a demonstration against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3. (Getty)

According to the Bismarck Tribune, the tribe, located in North Dakota, fears the project “will disturb sacred sites and impact drinking water for thousands of tribal members on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and millions further downstream.”

Reuters says the pipeline would be built outside, but near, the land owned by the tribe. The tribe is arguing that the pipeline would affect its water, as well as sites of spiritual significance, and says the government took the land away by reneging on past treaties.

“Our cause is just,” the newspaper quoted the tribe’s chairman, Dave Archambault II, as saying, adding that the tribe was staging the fight on behalf of future generations.

On EcoWatch, Winona LaDuke wrote a passionate column opposing the pipeline. It started, “My destination is the homeland of the Hunkpapa Oceti, Standing Rock Reservation…If you close your eyes, you can remember the 50 million buffalo—the single largest migratory herd in the world. The pounding of their hooves would vibrate the Earth, make the grass grow.”

She said the struggle is a continuation of a historical one. “There were once 250 species of grass,” she wrote. “Today the buffalo are gone… Many of the fields are now in a single GMO crop, full of so many pesticides that the monarch butterflies are dying off. But in my memory, the old world remains.”

In a press release, Archambault said, “This demolition is devastating. These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced.” He said that “construction crews removed topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for two miles, northwest of the confluence of the Cannon Ball and Missouri Rivers.”

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Protesters ride back to the public road at the end of their demonstration. (Getty)

“I surveyed this land and we confirmed multiple graves and specific prayer sites,” said Tim Mentz, the Standing Rock Sioux’s former tribal historic preservation officer, in the tribal press release. “Portions, and possibly complete sites, have been taken out entirely.”

The local sheriff said construction of the pipeline was temporarily halted “for safety reasons,” said NPR. The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association is asking U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday to send federal monitors to the protest, “alleging racial profiling and other transgressions are happening,” said ABC News.

According to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the tribe’s reservation is located in both North and South Dakota, and the people of Standing Rock are “members of the Dakota and Lakota nations,” terms that mean “friends” or “allies.”

“The people of these nations are often called ‘Sioux,'” a term that dates back to the seventeenth century “when the people were living in the Great Lakes area,” says the tribe.

According to the tribe’s website, “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal members are descendants of the Teton and Yankton Bands of the Lakota/Dakota Nations. The Reservation is thirty-four miles south of Mandan, North Dakota. The Cannon Ball River runs along the north side of the reservation and Ceder Creek in the northwest side.” The tribe says cattle ranching and farming are the biggest economic drivers on the reservation.

dakota access pipeline protests

Members of the Colorado River Tribes hold a banner to show their support for Native Americans of the Standing Rock reservation who oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (Getty)

The lawsuit says the reservation established in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie “included extensive lands that would be crossed by the proposed pipeline. The Tribe has a strong historical and cultural connection to such land. Despite the promises made in the two Fort Laramie treaties, in 1877 and again in 1889, Congress betrayed the treaty parties by passing statutes that took major portions of this land away from the Sioux.”

The lawsuit continues, “In addition to specific archaeological sites that have been identified to date, there are numerous significant culturally important sites that have not been identified. The lands within the pipeline route are culturally and spiritually significant.”


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Folks, you fight for a noble cause.

But I see some of you poking your heads up and appealing to Obama and Clinton, the federal government and even the U.N. to come in and help / save you. That’s like asking the fox to guard the hen house. These people you are appealing to are in thick with those behind the pipeline in the first place – the banksters, the robber barons, globalists, main stream media, the education system, etc. DYR – Do Your Research.

People have been propagandized, brainwashed, disempowered, literally poisoned physically, completely duped and that includes the American Indians.

Time to wake up folks. Quit appealing to the Neo Cons and Neo Libs who are neither conservative nor liberal, they are authoritarian / totalitarian. Don’t know where that could land ya? Read George Orwell’s “1984” to get some clue about “Big Brother.” They don’t give a flying #*@% through a rolling donut about the planet, you or anyone else… no one and nothing but themselves. The people at the top of both parties have been part of the global cabal.

Not every single politician is in cahoots with the cabal, but the federal government is for sure just swarming with cabal stooges. The higher the office, the more likely the candidate is “selected” and not elected. The reports of all the voter fraud coming out these days demonstrates how they have ways to negate what the people vote for. “You’ll know them by their fruits”… but you’ll have to wake up to what’s really going on in the world to tell who’s who.

The global cabal is not the “white man’s” club it used to be. Sellouts to the cabal come in every shape and size. Hillary, a woman is cabal. Obama is a bi-racial, Muslim, Communist, homosexual with a transgender “wife” and they are cabal.

George H.W. Bush came out recently with an ad endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. He said the Bushes and the Clintons have been friends for years. Does that surprise you? It doesn’t surprise any of us who have known the truth for years. There’s been much talk over the years of the Bush-Clinton crime families and oligarchy. Are you paying attention?

The global cabal is doing everything it can to bring down America now in an effort to usher in their one world government.

Russell Means was aware of what was going on. See following youtube:

Russell Means: Americans Are The New Indian

He couldn’t possibly have covered all the bases / topics in these 90 minutes, but he’ll get ya started and does indeed touch on the many facets of control in this world. Time to wake up folks!

Carolyn Haigler

OMG, how much appeal can we have toward the Native American? In my opinion they continue to vote for those who least serve them, do the same shit all the time, over and over again!
To get something done about this situation in North Dakota about the pipeline, these Indians need to get into the corner of Donald Trump who will be the one to make the change. Please don’t fall into the trap of the same shit that Indians have been accustomed to for over 200 years! I too, am an Indian. I only want the best for Indian people.


You mean the Donald Trump that has nearly a million dollars invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline? I could see why he would want to shut it down and help the people of Standing Rock.

Steven Stone

wow….king yellow hair has you hornswaggled….just like the outhers that think yellow hair will cure all there problems…..ya he will make a change…..from bad to worse…..he doesent care about the true americans…as soon as he is on the throne…..he will pull out all the stops….anywhere the billionairs want to drill…run a pipeline….run rail lines….they will do it…..all in the name of helping the people…..did you know all the oil they pump out and coal they dig out outher countries buy it…….tell me… how much money do you get from them…..nothing……only the rich make money off it…..only reason they stopped doing anything in the dakota is becuse its winter…….wait till spring…..and the king is on the throne…..those protesters will all be arrested….by use of the kings guard….and the pipeline will go any where the king wants….


The rich people only care about making more money and power….it’s there drug of choice…the stock holders say ,we want more money..we want more money…. so the rich white dogs say, o.k. we will rape the land,,we will suck out mothers earth’s blood,,we will dig giant holes in mother earth and take out her poison black rock ,to burn and pollute mother sky…we will pump toxins into mother earth and pollute mother earth’s life giving water…..we don’t care …..we just want more money…we want more power…..we don’t care that there are alternative methods of producing power for all people….we don’t care……did you know that the super rich find inventions of very smart people that can generate power without pollution, but the super rich buy the invention and destroy it….they threaten the inventory or have them killed…they don’t want the invention out because they make to much money polluting mother earth…the rich are the downfall of mankind all over the world…..the true americans…in the dakota have been ,starved, beaten gassedshot,lied to,pushed from there homeland,to end up in a harsh land…now that the rich white dogs want to get richer,,they say …once again ….to hell with the TRUE AMERICANS…let’s put a pipe across mother earth…we don’t care that it’s there land that the leader of the white dogs say it’s there land….we will lay a pipe across there ancestors grave….ancestors that were killed, by the whitedisease…killed buy hunger because the white dogs who slaughtered the animals that lived thousands of years…killed by the white dogs bullits….to make room for the hordes of white dogs that would later invade another land and bring back people that are also treated worse than a rabid dog…people that would have to do work that the white dogs think is to hard to do themselves…..these are the rich people…..they get rich off the sweat and blood of outher slaves be it white black or any outher color….the rich are doing what they always do…..destroy…pillage….plunder….and to he’ll with the people….let me ask you this….if the leader of another country…came here and said…I am going to put a pipeline ,across the Arlington cemetery, or across a sacred place you have ….what would think or do…..that is what the rich Texas billionaire is doing….he says screw those redskins…..we should have wiped them out long ago……so that is the reason why the u.s.and all of the outher countries of the world are in such turmoil….because the rich want more power…..the working man are just slaves and stepping stones for the rich……if all the rich really cared about there own country’s and people,,,,they would make non polluting factorys and jobs for everybody…..pay them a good wage……make sure every body had a good place to live..make medicine affordable for people whof need it…but no…..in every country the rich dogs live in there golden fortresses….and get richer……like the French Revolution…a time will come when all people of the poor,because it will only be rich and poor……will take up arms and say….I I am going to die I will at least try to take down the true evil ones the ones that are destroying mother earth…….like that yellow hair who will soon try to rule us

Kathileen Lotta

This is Native American land, Mother Earth. It is illegal for any US person to declare war on any other nation – that is, unless of course, they are members of the elitist 1% of the 1% in this used to be great nation. If they have money and the financial/power backing of the oil business, the Koch Bros and the other 4 members of their little group, no human is safe from their tyranny. They are allowed to break county, city, state and fed laws as long as it means turning even more profits for these bullies, politicians who’ve been bought and paid for by those same elitist groups of top 1%ers. This country is spiraling out of control, led by greed, total lack of integrity, total lack of justice for anyone who has less money and/or connections than the bullies, tyrants, out to get whatever they want from people with less money, less power and/or connections than they have. And supposed good and honest people conveniently look the other way out of fear that if they do not hide, remain silent, they will be the next of the lists of those 1%ers who are out to take away everything not glued down. They don’t even care if they are defying God – anyone’s God, by any name used by any group, but especially the Christian God our Presidents and other government officials have sworn, in HIS name, to be honorable and protective of the goodness that is supposed to be what this country is supposed to represent! These Native Americans should have the right to bear arms and protect the boundaries of their sovereign nation, as distinguished in treaties that have been broken in as short as 1 week after being signed, dated, in front of political witnesses. But then the US would just gun them down. But here’s a note. No so-called American is allowed to declare war against another nation – not even the President except under very particular and restrictive circumstances – without the permission of Congress. So how is it they are allowed to attack the Native Americans on their own land with bullets, tear gas, guard dogs, etc., etc. THAT is declaring war on a sovereign NATION!!!!!!! The problem is, all those who have the money, have the power to stop this immense injustice to innocent people are the very ones who have already or are about to make massive profits off this pipeline and will do nothing, whatsoever, to even slow things down – even after that black snake destroys their sovereign nation, their water that keeps them alive, keeps Mother Earth and their Sacred Lands safe from the invasion of evil, narcissism, their “god-complexes, and GREED.

Steven Stone

Miss lotta,you are 100% right on…Yellow hair will now release the white dogs of destruction once again….he is the all powerful…..he knows more about everything than anybody…..he knows more about climate change than any scientist….he knows more about a isis than all the generals…..he knows more about how to fix every thing than anybody that ever lived…..in his mind he is god…..he is going to let all the outher rich white dogs start polluting the air land and sea, just so they can make more money…..the dogs have bought judges,cops, militias who hate any body not white,even bigoted fire departments…..they have hundreds of crooked lawyers……so any man ,women,and child,is at risk..because the rich white dogs will take anything and everything from any one who stands in there way…….I say let’s go to war

April butler

Are there still people down there now? I’m considering flying down there from Canada to try and help!

Steven Machowsky

This has to be one of the least informative and fact based articles in recent memory. Nothing more than a bleeding heart liberals perspective that, per usual, has nothing to add to the conversation and offers nothing to the outside reader. The author simply pandered to one audience and any intelligent free thinking person will see this. Just for sh*ts let me recap this article in two sentence s because that’s all that is needed: The DAPL protest consists of police doing their job, armed with police canines and armored personnel carriers, Native Americans that are prepared for a long battle, celebrities such as Susan Sarandon , and a Texas billionaire who is behind the project. The current method of transporting over rail car is roughly 4.5 more times likely to experience a spill.


I am trying to find information on how much money the various protesting tribes already receive from oil companies and from oil and gas transfer payments. If they hate oil so much maybe the companies that give them transfer payments for use of sensitive lands should stop the payments and look elsewhere for new routes.

Steven Stone

Yes they should condemned your house and land….kick you out……make you go live in a cold harsh land…..then when the rich dogs want the piece of shit land you now live on ……kick you out again……tell me …don’t you think the true americans deserve better…….what has the white man really done for them…….look what the whites have done to all non whites…….native americans…….they tried to exterminate them……..blacks………they made slaves out of them……the jews…….tried to exterminate them to……..Chinese………look down there white noses at them and treated them like dirt..on and on………..now to this day and age…..it’s the rich whites that treat everybody like dogs…doing anything they want….so the time will come when they want your land….then how much will it be worth to you…..

Mary Ann

Incredible how the shamelessly OPPORTUNISTIC Media choose to Twist, Facilitate and Promote such issues ONLY when it serves their own interests. Put a camera in the face of a fool and they will put on a show. If I did that, I would be charged with Disturbing the Peace and Inciting a Riot! Same thing is happening tonight here in Charlotte. Protests in Center City — promoted by Media. It seems that these folks are BEGGING for Martial Law. And not just for themselves — for ALL of us.

Adrian Raff


My Brothers and Sisters!
I am angry! I am angry because private companies see it fit to commit crimes against your people and the people who stand with you at standing rock. These companies used dogs and unlawful means to intimidate and threaten peaceful unarmed citizens of the Native American Nation who are fighting right now to protect our land and water.
Do what is right to support them and make a call to these companies who are the private security firms hired that are the cause of the horrific injuries sustained by your people. By calling and tying up their resources you can effectively disrupt their business which aids in helping our brothers and sisters fight this battle. Make a call once a day and voice your opinion. We have to do everything we can to stop the construction of this pipeline!!! Tying up communication resources will slow them down and cost them $$

10 Code Security (701)425-2771 (701)751-7844
Tigerswan Security


Lots of “stuff”, but short on facts.

I have yet to hear or read an answer to some of the most basic, fundamental questions:

Why did the tribe and the tribal leaders just flat-out ignore dozens of requests for them to come to meetings – even early-on in the planning stages?

Why did they continue to ignore opportunity after opportunity to voice their concerns – all the way until construction began?

Why did those opposing this pipeline, as they began trying to inflame people across the country to join the cause, claim that the pipeline ran right through the reservation, had (or would) destroy sacred burial grounds and archeological sites of interest, and other claims – all of which are easily and soundly proven to have been lies?

Then the claim was made (and is still circulating) that a previous proposed alternative route North of Bismark was rejected because it might affect the mostly-white city. This was patently false – that route would have come into direct contact/crossed many more waterways than the current path. It also would have put the pipeline through several environmentally sensitive areas.

And claims are still being made that the pipeline runs through tribal/reservation land.


If you will bend your holy fingers to the lowly keyboard for information! you will find that the pipeline route crosses their land from the 1871 treaty with our white givernment, but the reservation bounderies do not include all this land. Their holy sites are within the treaty boundry it looks like. Further more, don’t you know whiteman’s lack of adhering to their treaties? We take we want, and good luck native Americans! Justice???!!!!! What do you propose Christians are responsible for fixing?


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