| Let's start at the very beginning when I first came to Standing
Rock to give you an idea of my first experience as I was called to
help assist Standing Rock with the Missouri River.
In 1993, I had the honor to come to Standing Rock helping in
the use of the Missouri River. Federal agencies were also present
along with North and South Dakota state agencies. The purpose of
this meeting was to obtain use of the Missouri River for obtaining
fishing permits and boat fees. Which wasn't going to make Standing
Rock rich in anyway. The meeting had started with various federal
agencies present, Army Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service, Bureau
of Land Management, US Park Service and state agencies. Army Corps
director gave the opening remarks which are still burn into my head
as I've never heard a federal director speak in this manner. His
words, "I am the Director of the Army Corps of Engineers." "I don't
know why we're gather here but we're the Army Corp's and we don't
have to do a damn thing or work with the Standing Rock tribe." "The
polices which Washington has establish is there in Washington."
"We don't have to do a damn thing as those polices can stay in Washington."
"We are out here in the field." "We don't have to do a damn thing
in the consultation process with the damn Indians as far as we're
concern as we're the Army Corp of Engineers."
sat back with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard and told her. "Did, I just
hear what I think I heard?" She stated, "Yes, this is what we have
to work with." The other federal agencies were just the same in
remarks but not as bold as Army Corps Director.
Mine you these directors spoke of their accomplishment on film.
I had written down their accomplishment however these accomplishments
violated federal laws and status. Long story short, I pointed out
the federal violations and jail terms to each director. Suddenly
one of the directors said, "What do the damn Indian want?" I told
them Standing Rock just want to manage the Missouri River from reservation
boundary to reservation boundary is all. One of the directors said,
"We need the federal directors to sign this agreement. What? Are
we looking at another federal charged of impersonating a federal
official? Technically they should be managing the whole Missouri
River as this was their territorial grounds. After much discussion
a MOU/MOA was signed between the federal directors giving the Standing
Rock tribe authority to manage the Missouri River from reservation
boundary to reservations boundary. Interesting enough if you can
believe this. We have all the federal agencies directors at the
Today, these same sentiments still how true of the Army Corps
of Engineers as I believe their attitudes are stuck in the mode
of the 1800's in the Great Indian War's against the native people
of Standing Rock with a new and bold director once again showing
racist tendencies toward Native people with without following the
due process in the consultation with the Standing Rock tribe and
the many native tribes who travel or traverse along the Missouri
River. The consultation process is clear cut polices among many
federal agencies as these polices are set in store to consult with
native people of the land to insure our cultural ways are not dismissed
and our archaeological sites such as burial of ancestors is protect,
along with our sacred sites such as star grazing sites, native villages,
and places of worship which are still used today by many native
Which brings us to the Dakota Access is a 1,172-mile, 30-inch
diameter pipeline that will connect the Bakken areas in North Dakota
to Patoka, Illinois passing just north of the Standing Rock Indian
reservation. Now bear in mind. This proposed pipeline in the beginning
was slated to travel just north of Bismarck, North Dakota. However,
the government officials denied this route as it may destroy their
drinking water. In the statement from Dakota Access in regards to
the review of this route. In not so healthy terms the native people
were expendable. Yes this is what was said, translated the native
people were expendable.
Upon hearing and reading this report from Dakota Access and
trying to reason with Dakota Access and the US Corps of Engineers
this was useless as all legal means were attempted to reason with
the US states government to deny this route for the protection of
the Standing Rock tribe water supply. Should the water become tainted
with damaging oil from the Bakken area as this is one of the dirtiest
of oils on the planet as this oil will travel to Illinois for cleaning
and then transported to China.
A call has gone out for native people of the land to come to
support the Standing Rock tribe all over Indian Country. To date
as of September 3, well over 8,000 people from all over the world
have come to support the Standing Rock tribe from all parts of the
world and over180+ have written letters of support. Many native
people soon were traveling to Standing Rock to stand for the protections
of our sacred waters.
A camp was establish on the Cannon Ball ranch of LaDonna Allard
as she had met with the Army Corps of Engineers staff and archeologist
to view the proposed Dakota Access pipeline which was to be built
on March 7, 2016. The Cannon Ball area is considered sacred to the
tribes of the area. Also located in the area is a village site of
the Arikara as cultural items are located on the surface from mole
hills. This area is also known as a eagle nesting area as they have
nested here for many generations. The Cannon Ball River area has
approximately over 296 archeological sites along with stone features
and other rock formations which represents the plain culture of
the area from the many tribal nations traveling this area.
this in mind of the culturally importance of the area the Sacred
Stone Camp was establish in April with groups of people numbering
as many as 45 to 50 people. When word gone out many native tribes
answer the call to help and support Standing Rock. Mind you due
to the number of people gathering for a sacred cause through the
power of prayer and peacefulness. Little be it known history would
be awaiting the people who have made the journey to Standing Rock
as the last time a large ground of native people coming together
was at the battle of the Greasy Grass at the Battle of the Little
Big Horn. Over 180 native tribes have come as people from all over
the world have arrived from France, Germany, Poland, New Zealand,
Australia, Philippines, Jamaica, Hawaii and as far as Alaska, and
Canada from the 1st Nations people. We have come united in a common
cause. It has been a who's who's of native people who have all come
together who fight their own battles at home over pipelines as well
as notable movie stars who have sided with our native people.
As people starting to arrive Dakota Access started to begin
work and many of the peaceful people as water defenders blocked
much of the construction sites by placing themselves in harm way
to protect the land and the sacred waters. A number of times Dakota
Access had change their route destroying the lands with out and
Environmental Impact Statement of route changed. People were soon
charged with trespassing on Army Corps lands in a nonviolent but
peaceful manner without drawing any type of violence but in a peaceful
manner as even the Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault
was arrested Friday September 11, 2016, afternoon at a protest rally
where the Dakota Access Pipeline is headed toward the Missouri River
just north of the reservation boundary. Archambault was booked into
the Morton County Jail and released on bond late afternoon. He was
charged with disorderly conduct for pushing back on a police line
formed when protesters tried to prevent pipeline workers from leaving
the site. Tribal councilman Dana Yellow Fat was also arrested Friday
as were four others who attempted to block pipeline workers trying
to reach the work site early this morning.
On September 3, 2016 at approximately 2 pm on a Labor Day weekend
was working destroying burial site markers where were identified
by the Standing Rock archaeologist were being destroyed by the Dakota
In hopes of destroying these which would in Dakota Access free
rein to continue work. Many of the water protectors came to the
aid of the burial sites and stopped the work in progress only to
be met by attack dogs from a company based in Bismarck, North Dakota
10-Code mercenaries who had not so trained attack dogs. Upon release
of these attacked dogs. The attacked dogs attacked their dog handlers.
Finally getting control of the dogs they were release on unarmed
protectors. A young child was bitten and had to be transport to
the Bismarck hospital by her parents as well as a pregnant native
woman. A total of approximately 20 people were bitten and just prior
to the dog attack 10-Code people used pepper spray on approximately
A rallying cried gone out to water protectors who eventually
stopped the destruction of the burial sites. Later the afternoon
at approximately well over 2,000 people marched to the site of the
destruction for a native ceremony to once again put the spirits
at peace. Over 16 various native tribes of medicine men and woman,
spiritual leaders from other tribes, sun dancers and singers took
part in this ceremony. The end of the ceremony involved the 2,000
people to conduct their own prayer and with the last song sung.
All people were encouraged to sing. After the ceremony we had over
6 smudge bowls to smudge everyone from babies to elders who took
part in the ceremony. The 6 smudge bowls were cared by our native
women. After everyone was smudge I did the final smudging of the
6 ladies as we had completed what we came to do.
With the latest news of the pending hearing from the US judge
in Washington DC. Word came he has sided with Dakota Access and
disapproved our motions from the Standing Rock tribe to stop or
postpone the project. Then shortly after this announcement was made
in a joint statement from the US Justice Department, Army Corps
of Engineers in Washington, DC, and the President Obama officer.
He has stopped the project in and around the Standing Rock Sioux
tribe. People were jubilant with the news however knowing it is
only an temporary fix. With the news people are still high with
a knowing we're not done yet. As, people are now readying to hunker
down for the pending winter months.
Work is going out for a renewal call for support, supplies and
provision for the water defenders and protectors of our sacred water.
We have vow not to give up for the sake of our sacred water.
We will continue to be strong just as our ancestors have.
Water is Life.
Water is Sacred.
Kenny Frost is a Native American Consultant, and protectors
of our lands and treaties.