Water protectors holding a flag
Published September 29, 2916
MORTON COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA – This past Sunday morning, September 25, was cold and windy, and after several days of rain stopped, about 300 protectors from Oceti Sakowin, Red Warrior, and Sacred Stone camps along with other supporters from surrounding camps, decided that strong prayers were needed at the site where construction has been continuing on the Dakota Access Pipeline. The group formed a car caravan and traveled to two construction sites along County Highways 6 and 134 near unincorporated community of St. Anthony in Morton County. They were met by more than 50 police from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol and the National Guard with a military style vehicle. As a line of police officers moved toward the group, they held their space with signs and songs. Construction workers ran away from their work sites when the group arrived.
Youth Council holding their banner in front of the pipeline
By using footage from a camera drone and mapping software, Myron Dewey of Digital Smoke Signals has proof the company is violating the Federal Appeals Court Order on September 16 to stop construction within 20 miles of Lake Oahe. He believes they are working 17.3 miles from the lake. When the group circled to offer prayers and song, a police helicopter circled above, and police took photographs of all car license plates.
“We came here today to offer prayers to our creator to stop this construction, and to have our women plant trees and corn for the coming generations to enjoy. That is why we are here. We are not violent, they are harassing us while we offer prayers,” said Galeson Eaglestar (Oglala Lakota).
Prayers sung after corn is planted
“We were not shown any aggression by this group. There were no incidents that I’m aware of”, said Lt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol. Yet Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeir told the Bismark Tribune that security officers claimed they saw water protectors armed with guns and knives during this action, and that his department received reports of gun shots fired. Kandi Moffett of the Indigenous Environment Movement stressed that “These protests are peaceful and prayerful. They are not violent. There are no guns.
A line of young trees planted by women
Contradictory reports and actual distortions of the truth are being reported to local North Dakota media sources by police authorities as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline. The youth council within the Oceti Sakowin has been successful in planning and implementing peaceful and prayerful actions against the pipeline.