Standing Rock Responds to Governor’s Emergency Evacuation Order With Emergency Proclamation

By Yessenia Funes Dec 01, 2016

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued an executive order Monday night (November 28) calling for an emergency evacuation of the Oceti Sakowin Camp where thousands of Dakota Access Pipeline opponents are stationed. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has been leading the opposition, responded with its own emergency proclamation yesterday (November 30) refuting much of the governor’s statements.

The proclamation names the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie to defend the tribe’s occupation of the land (though the tribe also acknowledges that the Army Corps of Engineers does manage the land) and its allies’ first amendment rights to peaceful assembly. Individuals should be able to come and go as they wish, not by order of the governor, the proclamation states.

In regards to safety, according to the tribe the weather is not a problem as the governor indicated in his executive order. The camp is equipped with temporary structures that contain safe heat sources. The actual source of danger, says the proclamation, is the state’s decision to fine those providing supplies to the camp, as well as law enforcement’s use of excessive force against the water protectors in the past.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said in an emailed statement to Colorlines:

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. 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.

The tribe also calls on Dalrymple to withdraw his executive order and resume supply deliveries to the camp “to ensure no lives at the camp are threatened.” The proclamation asks the United Nations to prohibit the state from taking such actions again.

The UN last spoke out in November when Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, accused U.S. security forces of using excessive force against water protectors. Before then, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous people, called on the U.S. to halt construction.