N. Dakota Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe responded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers eviction notice for the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
November 27, 2016
Cannon Ball, N. Dakota – Both the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe say that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has no legal right to claim a free speech zone and have no legal right to evict Native Americans from unceded land to the U.S. under the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Sioux tribes response comes after Colonel John W. Henderson, the District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent a notice of eviction a day after Thanksgiving to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Colonel Henderson’s eviction notice says, that it has created a free speech zone and that Native Americans and allies at the Oceti Sakowin Camp would be evicted by December 5 from federal land. Some of the N. Dakota senators have also requested for the Native Americans to be evicted from the camp as well, which would actually favor the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Henderson says, that he is closing portion of the “Corps-managed federal property north of the Cannon Ball River to all public use and access effective December 5, 2016.” The eviction would help prevent further violent confrontations between the water protectors/protesters and the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, according to Colonel Henderson. But Henderson has been part of such violent confrontations himself along with the Morton County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), N. Dakota State Patrol, the state national guard and assisting cops from 9 states. Henderson authorized the MCSO to keep Native Americans from going to peacefully pray at a site where two Native Americans were buried on federal land, the MCSO used mace and rubber bullets to keep Native Americans from the area along the Cannon Ball River, just across from the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
On November 20, Native Americans and allies attempted to clear burned vehicles from the Backwater Bridge near the Oceti Sakowin Camp in Cannon Ball, when the MCSO responded with water hoses and douse protesters for hours with cold water in freezing temperatures, maced (used chemical tear gas against them), shot multiple people in close range with rubber bullets and fired concussion grenades at Native Americans and allies. At least 300 Native Americans and allies were reported injured and water protector Sophia Wilansky, 21, was struck by a concussion granade that exploded by her left arm. Wilansky suffered a severe injury and has gone through multiple surgeries and could eventually lose her arm.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. has included images of the Corps eviction notice letter and both respond letters by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.