Winter NODAPL Camp Updates

Photo by Ayşe Gürsöz
by Betsy Obladi   December 11, 2016
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This is a compilation of the latest updates from North Dakota's water protectors, camp leaders and others near the resistance camps at Standing Rock. You'll find the most recent updates up at the top and yesterday's updates are towards the bottom. As of 12/10 Red Warrior Camp has officially ended their stay while Sacred Stone Camp and Rosebud Camp have dedicated themselves to staying; lawyers and activists will also still be fighting legal battles until January (at least).

12/10 Camp Updates:

Camps Depart and Camps Stand Strong

The Red Warrior Camp announced they were officially leaving on Saturday night in a public statement while Sacred Stone Camp and Rosebud Camp have committed themselves to staying. An invitation for water protectors is beginning to open but camp leaders urge all who want to join to please be prepared to be self-reliant, self-sufficient, self-funding and prepared for extreme winter conditions.

Camp Weather & Future Blizzards

[12/10/16] The temperature is about 0 degrees, give or take. Wind chill makes it feel colder. Even colder at night. The winds have died down. The camp has been preparing for a possible blizzard this evening, which could be more intense than the previous one earlier this week. According to weather reports, there will not be a blizzard and it will be a sunny day tomorrow. Some speculate the warnings of the blizzard coming today were intended to scare more people from coming to or staying in camp. It is possible that a blizzard was in the forecast earlier this week, and word didn't spread when things changed.

Supplies Needed

[12/10/16] The biggest supply needs continue to be wood, propane, and water. More supply runs, trips to the casino, and voyages into the city today and yesterday to get prepared for the storm. Reports are that food and many other supplies are well stocked now for those remaining at camp. A propane truck arrived today at camp, and the next one won't be along for another five days. Drones are also needed by independent media on site. Builders are needed.

Visit to learn how you can still donate supplies.

Sitting Bull Tipi Art
Sitting Bull Tipi Art - Photo by Ayşe Gürsöz

Mail and Delivery Issues

[12/10/16] Protectors, organizers and activists have been having issues with their packages being delivered to the camps. Some packages are being turned away in Bismark while other packages have been getting locked up in warehouses without access to retrieve them. At this moment it's only speculation as to what is causing the mail issue; some are blaming incompetent leadership, bad communication from Standing Rock Tribe Members and even Morton County Police in some cases.

Camp Population

[12/10/16] Water Protector population guesses remain about the same as previous day, estimates still in thousands, though some think the numbers might get down to 500 if a blizzard comes through. Some of them have gone to the casino or to Cannon Ball for the possible storm. Those prepared for brutal weather remain at camp. People who are not prepared for the harsh, severe winter weather are being asked to leave so they do not drain camp resources. New arrivals are still being asked not to come to camp because of the current severe weather. Those that do arrive are not turned away, but are advised based on their preparedness whether to stay or go, out of concern for safety. While it is unclear the fate of the main camp (Oceti Sakowin Camp), Rose Bud and Sacred Stone camps are committed to staying open.

Camp Leadership Questioned

[12/10/16] Questions about camp and tribal leadership abound, along with many rumors. There is a large question about what to do next, and many different voices have answers. Many continue to take initiative to stand up and be leaders, especially when direction is needed, to organize and assist camp and the movement.

A camper travels past tipis at Sacred Stone - Photo by Ayşe Gürsöz

Meetings Scheduled

There are reports of meetings and plans for actions, and a strong request for any and all who can ably manage the ND winter conditions to stay at or join camp. People are very needed at camp, as many as possible, to stand up to DAPL and protect the water and land. There are also strong requests for people to stop promoting fear, and instead focus on what needs to be done, that DAPL is not done, and to take on courage instead.

Sacred Fire Put Out

[12/10/16] The main fire at Oceti Sakowin had been put out at the request of elders stating that their prayers had been heard and the fire had served it's purpose. Chase Ironeyes, who many respect as one of the leaders of the camps, says it's time for a new fire to begin; a ceremonial fire of strength to begin this new chapter.

Too many rumors and fear have caused confusion. One of the fires was extinguished today marking the rebirth of a new phase of this 500 year struggle. We are holding strong at All Nations camp, Sacred Stone Camp, Rosebud Camp, Huadenasaunee camp and others who are committed to new beginnings.

Posted by Lastrealindians on Saturday, December 10, 2016

DAPL Continues To Block Bridge

[12/10/16] The bridge is still blocked off. It was reported three people were arrested on the bridge on Thurs, 12/8/16. Yesterday, it was reported a car slid and crashed into the barricades, and was abandoned. Today, as every other day, there was an immense militarized police presence, their many Humvees surrounding and guarding the bridge. It is speculated the police are receiving hazard pay for their work to protect the illegal work of DAPL, and the pay may be up to $80/hour. A man was arrested yesterday for "trespassing" because he crossed the barricade of the public bridge. The man apparently had over 30 police officers pointing their guns at him, and upon arrest was able to see the police barracks, which are reportedly grand in comparison to the Water Protectors' camps.

ND Department Of Health

[12/10/16] It was reported today that ND Dept of Health is providing public health services to the militarized police who are protecting the illegal work of DAPL. They are not providing services to Standing Rock and the Water Protectors, and have not been since August.

12/9 Camp Updates:

Compost Toilets Installed

[12/9/16] Heated army tents with 13 compost toilets have been in the works at camp, and the first one opened up yesterday (12/9/16) at Oceti, with 3 more to be ready soon. After the frozen port-a-potties were removed, campers have been shuttled to the casino to use their facilities. The casino remains a respite for campers, giving them a chance to shower, get warm, access internet. Warming stations continue be put together. Winterized structures continue to be built.

Federal Court Cases

Yesterday morning (12/9/16), the federal court case brought by DAPL in attempt to overturn the ACoE denial of final permit began with a preliminary conference. The judge told Standing Rock Sioux and ACoE to present their supporting evidence/case by 1/6/17, and DAPL to do the same by 1/31/17. It's expected DAPL will present their evidence around 1/6/17, as they want to expedite the proceedings. Standing a Rock Sioux will have 10 days to respond. The hearing will then begin no sooner than February. DAPL has contracts with third parties (oil companies, investors) that expire 1/1/17 If the pipeline is not complete. On 1/2/17, the hope is that the contracts and money begin to fall apart for DAPL. DAPL stated today there are losing $20 million every week the pipeline isn't complete.

Flooding Cannonball River

[12/9/16] Yesterday afternoon, Jordan Chariton broke an exclusive story, announcing that after a meeting with Governor Dalrymple and Chairman Dave Archambault, the Army Corps of Engineers stated it would release water from a dam off of the Missouri River to raise the water level of Lake Oahe. The purpose of the raising the water level is to reportedly make it impossible for DAPL to drill, as the water pressure change would make the drill unstable. I have not seen any further, verified explanation on this. However, raising water levels also means likely flooding Oceti Sakowin Camp, which means thousands of people would need to vacate quickly, as the dam opening up is reportedly "imminent." Some see this news as the Army Corps of Engineers trying to ensure DAPL doesn't drill. Some are suspicious of the plan and think the primary purpose is to flood camp and force the Water Protectors to retreat. Some wonder if DAPL could still drill anyway even after the water level rises.

Winter View Of The Camps Near The Cannonball River - Photo by Ayşe Gürsöz
Winter View Of The Camps Near The Cannonball River -Photo by Ayşe Gürsöz

Drill Site Activity

[12/9/16] Yesterday afternoon, drone footage of the DAPL work site captured today, with commentary saying it looks like they're drilling and noting exhaust believed to be from the drill. With my tired eyes, I couldn't tell what exactly was happening in the footage, but they were busy doing something and machines are moving around. Reports are that DAPL busted three drill bits today, and lost one in the hole and are unable to extract it.

Increased Violence And Racism Towards Protectors

[12/9/16] Hostility and aggression against Water Protectors continue to mount in ND as many have been targeted, threatened, and assaulted. On 12/8/16, snow-mobilers attempted to run Prolific The Rapper and Myron Dewey off of icy roads. Linda Black Elk has been receiving death threats. There are many more stories like these.

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About Betsy Obladi 1 Article
─ She's an independent investigator, political activist and writer who provides updates to her followers on her social media page. Follow Me On Facebook
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