2016-12-12Here's one opinion:
And I just learned of another.
If you've been following, you'll know from my last post that Angie and I are in Bismarck North Dakota, after rolling our truck (and we're both completely uninjured... awesome). Here's that post: http://www.blog.smalladventures.net/2016/12/rolled-truck-in-north-dakota-blizzard.html .
Today we left our motel 6 up on the northern end of Bismarck and walked down to the car repair place to chat with them and swap out a little gear before leaving on a bus this evening for Fargo where we'll catch a train east. It started at a toasty 5F this morning with almost no wind but slowly got colder, and that's how we found ourselves ducking in to a Starbucks cafe in a Target to warm up Angie's phone for a moment so it would work to look for the coffee shop we were headed for. While poking at her phone a man walks up and asks "Are you headed to the protests?" Angie explained that we had been, but rolled our car. He then proceeded to explain that the protests are NOT over.
Here's what he told us:
There are apparently a couple of major leaders. There's the widely recognized Dave Archambault III who is Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. There is also Ladonna who is apparently the sister of the man who was talking to us. A quick internet search finds he likely meant LaDonna Brave Bull Allard – Oglala Lakota. Here's some an article by her: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/why-the-founder-of-standing-rock-sioux-camp-cant-forget-the-whitestone-massacre-20160903
Anyway, this man told us that she actually started the protests not Dave Archambault III . I guess a lot of Sioux are Skeptical of Archambault and there are rumors that he accepted a bribe to stop the protests. Apparently LaDonna wants to continue the protests.
He noted that there are several camps, this I knew. It's not too hard to read between the lines and realize these are controlled by different factions. The Sacred Stone camp was the first, and I guess this is the one started by LaDonna. This camp is also on... I believe he said federal land... and thus the governor doesn't have jurisdiction to issue an eviction. The camp that has the eviction is on private (and thus state controlled) land, and is often reffered to as the "overflow" camp. The man we talked to called it this several times. The one with all the flags and stuff you see all over facebook.
He said that if you go to the Sacred Stone camp to truly be helpful you will be welcomed. He said they are still looking for carpenters, plumbers, etc. and are in it for the long haul, building permanent structures.
When Angie and I attempted to contact the Standing Rock organizers we contacted the "Medic and Healers council" which is somewhat separate from any of the separate groups and runs tents in all of the camps. Their primary aim being to spread knowledge of traditional healing and just to keep people safe and healthy, spiritually and physically. One of my goals in going was to see for myself and talk to people on the ground about what is going on. So I wanted to pass this along. There is a lot of conflicting information out there... This backs up the idea that one major reason is that there are a number of major leaders (often associated with camps) involved who do not necessarily agree.
U pdate: Here's some official word confirming both the general sense, and the specifics of what I wrote about above.