Date: January 10, 2017
BISMARCK, ND – A snapshot of comments made at a meeting between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council and anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp leaders on Thursday, January 5, 2016 to discuss moving the camp and cleaning up the area. The meeting was live streamed on Facebook. Also included are comments in an interview with the Daily Emerald (independent newspaper at the University of Oregon).
Chairman David Archambault II (Council meeting)
“From the beginning, we’ve always been worried about people’s health and safety. But then what we see is a high risk and we’ve also been concerned about the environment. This whole thing is about protecting the water but what we are going to see, what we’re going to witness if we don’t do something about it and we know it’s coming. We’re going to see contaminating of the Missouri River [by] the debris that’s left on the flood plain.”
“We have to come up with a plan to get people off the flood plain, get people out of that area so that we can clean it. … A lot of the waste and the trash is going to be in the river when the flood comes.”
Council Member Cody Two Bears (Council meeting)
“I totally understand that the people here who are here are supposed to be self-sufficient, but that’s not the case. … I can honestly tell you that because there’s been people who have approached our community in Cannon Ball asking for gas money, asking for resources from them, to say, ‘Hey I need to get home,’ or, ‘Hey I need to get food,’ ‘Hey, I don’t have this or that,’ and they’re trying to use our community resources which are very, very limited for our own members.”
“There have been a lot of increase incidents with alcohol and things that have happened in the recent weeks and months.”
LaDonna Allard, protest camp leader (Council meeting)
“I recommend, and nobody has to listen to my recommendations, but we form some kind of committee that just deals with moving and cleaning up, for everybody. Because the responsibility of cleaning up the camp should be our responsibility. That shouldn’t be the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s responsibility. That’s my own opinion. We should clean up.”
Chairman David Archambault II (Interview with Emerald Daily)
“Well I haven’t gone down there lately, because when the first storm came, I asked everybody to leave. And the second I made that statement somebody else from Standing Rock made the statement “don’t leave.” And then there’s been a lot of criticism on me saying that I sold out, and that I have a house in Florida, and that I have another house in Bismarck, and that I received money. And none of that’s true, but it’s just how everybody has turned on me. So, it makes me curious about [what people’s intentions are]. What are they here for? When we had the decision made by the Corps of Engineers not to give an easement, and to do an [Environmental Impact Statement] and to consider rerouting ⎼ those were the three things that we’ve been asking for the last two years. … So, the purpose of the camp was fulfilled, and we got what we wanted.
“So, you ask me who is running the camp down there? It’s whoever the people want to listen to and there is always someone who doesn’t want to listen. That is the dysfunction. The good thing about the tribal government is [even] if the people don’t want to listen to me, it’s a role that everyone accepts. Down there, if someone does not accept it, [the leadership] will change. That is how it has been going. It’s been forever evolving from the first time we set up until today. Even now if I go down there, they’re not going to want to have anything to do with me because I asked them to leave.”