Coalition of Peaceful Tribal Protestors Block Pipeline–on the scene reporting
This last week, I traveled down to the small reservation town of Cannon Ball, ND. This small town, which is home to the Standing Stone Reservation, along the confluence of the Missouri River and Cannon Ball River, has become the site of a stand off between the native tribes, big money, and the powers that be. This is the first time since June 25th, 1876, that the Seven Council Fires of the Native Nations were together in a camp in order to fight for their rights. This historic meeting has been a huge unifying rally point. The native people are protesting the construction of a pipeline through their land.
My trip started, as it always does, with a long drive. This one was only about 15 hours. As I was driving there, I did my best to reach out to others that I suspected might have their boots on the ground in Cannon Ball. I was able to learn that in the day it took me to travel there, the numbers of protestors had swollen from a couple hundred to over a thousand. I also heard reports from the local Sheriff’s Department that they were closing down access to the main road that lead to the area in an attempt to keep protestors out. These protest camps were located on reservation land and they were welcomed by the tribe. The reasons given were in the name of public safety and that they (the Sheriff’s Department) had heard rumors of possible gun shots and possible pipe bombs. After getting a few hours of sleep at a local cheap motel in Bismarck, ND I was determined to find a route to the demonstrators’ camps that would keep me clear of the road blocks that were already in place. After making a few calls and finding a few posts on Facebook, I decided to try Route 6 to Route 24. As there always seems to be at any protest, there was a tremendous law enforcement presence from Bismarck through to the reservation. But I was able to make it without incident and I found myself at The Red Warrior Camp.
Please the rest of the story here at North West Liberty News. I have also included a photo gallery and audio interviews.
Jason Van Tatenhove