Published October 18, 2016
EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA – Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier issued a strong condemnation over the weekend of the ongoing arrest and prosecution of independent journalists covering the protests at Standing Rock of the Dakota Access Pipeline project.
Chairman Frazier stated, “It has become obvious that North Dakota is trying hard to suppress the bully tactics they are using against peaceful protectors and observers. Detaining and leveling outrages charges of inciting riots and terrorizing is a classic example of cronies using the law to be legal thugs.”
In addition, the Chairman questioned the state use of outside law enforcement agencies to arrest and monitor the water protectors protesting, requesting an open and transparent communication from the state regarding whether or not outside agencies are properly deputized and insisting that they be made aware of tribal law before being allowed to operate near the camp.
Outside law enforcement agencies are often unaware of tribal law or treaties and can make a peaceful situation turn violent when they violate long-standing agreements and tribal customs. Chairman Frazier further stated, “The last time it was illegal for our people to pray we were gunned down by uncontrolled agencies. This behavior is reminiscent of the actions that started with the assassination of Sitting Bull to the Massacre at Wounded Knee. The use of these agencies and the arrest of journalists covering the protest does not, in good faith, uphold the principles of American democracy or our sovereign treaties. We demand that each cease immediately.”
The Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, the Oglala Reservation, the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation, the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation, the Santee Sioux Reservation and others- all run the risk of their reservations being rendered completely uninhabitable in the event of a pipeline break. Together, they stand in opposition to the illegal and unconstitutional actions by the North Dakota government.