Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline

Standing Rock Spirit Camp visits Colonel from Army Corp of Engineers from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.

Unicorn Riot visited the Sacred Stone camp which over sees the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball River on April 30th, 2016. Near a month has passed since our last visit where we witnessed the setting up of the Spirit Camp to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. We arrived in time to catch the camp participants heading to a public hearing with Colonel John Henderson of the Army Corp of Engineers, Commander of the Omaha District. The Army Corps hasn’t given approval for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River.

Before getting to the hearing we saw excavators and other types of machinery near the East bank of the Missouri River. They are set to begin what they call “pre-construction” of the Dakota Access Pipeline despite having no permit to go through the Missouri River.

Unicorn Riot followed a group of motorcycle riders or “Iron Horse” riders to the Gran Casino. The riders joined a walk, run, and a horse ride that each came from one of the four directions to tell the Army Corp of Engineers Colonel to say “No” to the permit that would allow Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri.

We livestreamed the listening session and heard tribal members and supporters tell the Army Corp of Engineers that the pipeline threatens their reservation. If, and as many said, “when”, the pipeline breaks, it’ll contaminate the only source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Nation.

The first speaker at the listening session was a Lisa Martinez who shared a Lakota creation story and told the colonel that she was sixteen years old and here to say no to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Lisa Martinez
Lisa Martinez – Standing Rock Sioux

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawyer, Paul Capossela stated the Army Corps hadn’t consulted with the tribe, despite this meeting, because they already released the draft Environmental Assessment. That if there were meetings and consultations it should have happened before the draft assessment was released.

He told the Corps that their policy “requires” the Corps to respect treaty rights and that water rights were treaty rights and approving the permit would violate those rights.

Peter Capossela -
Peter Capossela – Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Attorney

The listening session lasted over an hour and a half. Colonel Henderson listened to speakers whose ages spanned from 16 to 91. Not a single speaker spoke in approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline. They made it clear that they were opposed to oil pipeline and they intend to defend their drinking water.

Upon the posting of this article, a delegation of runners traveled over 500 miles to the Army Corps of Engineers Omaha Headquarters to deliver a petition opposing the oil pipeline. On May 3rd, the Army Corps stated they had not reached a decision on whether to approve the permit for the pipeline. Unicorn Riot will continue to follow the ongoing resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Full Hearing Recorded Livestream:

To learn more about the Spirit Camp and ongoing resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline click here.

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