Cannon Ball, N.D.—Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II today issued a proclamation in support of water protectors who face continued civil rights abuses and excessive use of force by law enforcement.
“This week is the anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. It’s time for the United States to end its legacy of abuses against Native Americans. We call on the United Nations and President Barack Obama to take immediate action to prohibit North Dakota from engaging in its retaliatory actions and practices,” Archambault said. “As a tribal nation, we call on the President to take all the appropriate steps to ensure water protectors are safe and that their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are protected. Gov. Darlymple had a chance today to condemn the violence and unlawful acts of state and local governments, but failed to do so.”
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Emergency Proclamation to Safeguard Peaceful Protests on Treaty Territory
Whereas, Water Protectors are currently engaged in peaceful and prayerful activities within the Oceti Sakowin Camp located on land managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers;
Whereas, the land being used by the Water Protectors is within the Tribe’s 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie Territory and the Tribe has supported the use of this Treaty territory for these peaceful activities to further the protection of the life-giving waters;
Whereas, Water Protectors at the Oceti Sakowin Camp are self-sufficient and have been preparing for harsh storms and severe winter conditions by constructing temporary structures that contain safe heat sources;
Whereas, each individual is participating in the Oceti Sakowin Camp in the exercise of their First Amendment right guaranteed by the United States Constitution and is entitled to determine for themselves whether to remain at the Camp;
Whereas, the State of North Dakota and local law enforcement have engaged in unwarranted and excessive use of force against peaceful Water Protectors over the last two months and it is these actions alone that have created unsafe conditions at and around the Camp;
Whereas, the Executive Order 2016-08 issued by the Governor of North Dakota is another attempt to threaten and create fear notwithstanding the State’s announcement that it will not forcibly remove Water Protectors;
Whereas, State law enforcement have been directed to and are stopping vehicles headed to Oceti Sakowin Camp and imposing excessive fines up to $1000 on those carrying supplies in attempt to block the supplies from reaching the Camp, thereby directly creating health and safety risks that endangers the lives of the Water Protectors;
Therefore Be It Resolved, that in the spirit of safety, the Tribe urges the State to withdraw Executive Order 2016-18 and allow supplies to be delivered to ensure no lives at the Camp are threatened;
Be It Further Resolved, that the Tribe requests that the United Nations and President Barack Obama take immediate action to prohibit the State from engaging in its retaliatory actions and practices, to take all appropriate steps to ensure the protection and safety of the Water Protectors and to safeguard their rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.