SACRED STONE CAMP HISTORY
Íŋyaŋwakağapi Otpi - SACRED STONE CAMP - NO DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
all started when…
The Sacred Stone Camp was created on April 1, 2016 to educate the world about the abuse of fossil fuel, the history of the cultural sites along the path of the pipeline and provide education on non-violent direct-action training and non-violent civil disobedience against a billion-dollar oil company.
The Sacred Stone Camp was the first camp to be developed on the Cannon Ball River, it took its name from the original name of the River, which referred to the large round sandstone that were made at the mouth of the Cannon Ball River as it entered the Missouri River. Sacred Stone Camp was created on the Cannon Ball River and Missouri River Confluence with Joye Braun, Jaclyn Charger, Wiyaka Eagleman and Joseph White Eyes who were the first people to camp on the Brave Bull allotment to stand in prayer and ceremony, and educate about non-violent direct actions.
The Sacred Stone Camp wants to change world thought about how we live on the Earth by promoting green energy, teaching of food sovereignty, traditional culture, language and indigenous knowledge of how to walk gently on the land. The Dakota Access pipeline is a negative on the earth with the probability of an oil spill in our main water system that would affect millions of people and living things.
The camp was set up to stop the pipeline but soon became the centered of change with solar panels, wind generator power and temporal energy. The ideal of establishing a village grew from the Water Protectors belief in green energy as we experienced how to live on the earth again. When the camps ended we understood that what we learned must be taught to everyone on how to live on the earth again.
The Sacred Stone Camp received notice to remove trespassers on Tribal trust land by order of the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, from the Bureau of Indians Affairs Police on February 15, 2016 This notice was delivered to me at Prairie Knights Casino. I was told we had ten days to respond to the order by the BIA. Then the police went to the camp and gave out the order to the camp members. We gathered the people at Sacred Stone and together made the decision to leave peacefully and in prayer.
We started to remove the camps beginning with the yurt village where we removed the homes and cleaned up the land. The BIA police told us if we continued moving the camp they would not come in. We had crews working 24/7 getting people moved out of Sacred Stone Camp. We were forced to move in the middle of winter with many of our tipi poles and tent poles frozen into the ground. This reminds me of the government issuing the order in the middle of the winter demanding the tribe to come to the reservations by January 1, 1876. The idea of moving in the winter was inhumane especially with children and elders involved. Where was the compassion for the people?
In response to the order of trespassing, I visited with the BIA Superintendent Sheila White Mountain and her assistant Dwight on February 23, 2017. I gave her a letter of response and concerns to the order delivered by BIA Police. She told me to rewrite it and put three items in the letter:
1. This was an appeal.
2. We had a tribal resolution to start and support the Sacred Stone camp, and
3. We were developing a cultural camp.
I returned home and rewrote the appeal and turned it in the same day. The concern that they were told by the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was that we did not have tribal permission to start the camp. I informed them that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe passed a resolution to support the camp on June 8, 2016. The BIA told me to write about what I was doing in developing the cultural camp. When I turned in the paper they said they had ten days to respond to the letter I submitted.
We did our best to follow the police orders by getting the camp moved and most importantly keep people safe. We stated that it is hard to move in the middle of winter. We were told that if we were actively moving they would not come in to raid or attack the people.
Things changed and we were not sure why because we were following the orders of the BIA Police. Next, they put up what they called a soft blockade by orders, we were told, from the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The police were not allowing the water protectors to bring in supplies, food or water to the camp. The Chairman told me face to face he was going to allow no supplies into the camps to force people to leave due to lack of basic human needs such as food and water. We talked them into allowing 25 gallons of water for 100 people in a day, because we had children and elders in the camps.
While we waited for the response from the BIA to our appeal, the police moved in. Everyone was working to get out the supplies and their property with no sleep for more than 48 hours, working in shifts to get things moved in all the mud and everything frozen to the ground and so much to move. We were notified that the police would be moving to a hard blockade at noon the next day. Instead, the hard blockade went in to effect at 10 am, 2 hours before the deadline, despite the Water Protectors fulfilling the mandate to keep moving. Many people thought they could get one more trip before they refused to let them back in, so they left their clothes for the last load because they were helping others. We have people who could not get their personal items and had to leave with the clothes on their backs. However, we still have 100% of our compassion for the planet and all forms of life living here. Our family is still strong, supportive and will continue to stand in prayer.
The Sacred Stone community is still focused on the mission of building a green culture camp for the youth of Mother Earth. We stand for the Water, the Land and all future generations. It is our pleasure to witness the growth and expansion of this world-wide movement as the spirit of Sacred Stone spreads across the planet through the hearts and hands of the Water Protectors.