Winter has hit the camp with vengeance.
Published December 11, 2016
by Darren Thompson
CANNONBALL, NORTH DAKOTA —In an effort to address widespread rumors and misconceptions about #NODAPL encampments near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Last Real Indians led by former candidate for US Congress Chase Iron Eyes broadcasted late Saturday evening updates regarding situations and numbers of those in camp. The Oceti Sakowin camp has now been renamed All Nations camp and includes members from many tribes and many walks of life.
“We wanted to let the world know our status and to address the many rumors that have been causing confusion and fear on the internet,” said Chase Iron Eyes in a live Facebook stream. “Our numbers are around 1,000 in the newly named All Nations camp, with 300 in the Rosebud Sicangu Camp and well over 1,000 in the Sacred Stone Camp.”
Posts via social media caused confusion and concern due to a number of factors including announcements by Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault, the Army Corps of Engineers possibly raising water levels near the encampments and the sacred fire near the entrance of the Oceti Sakowin camp being extinguished.
Announcements by officials of influence were mainly due to harsh winter conditions that would surely cause strain on the local community and were met with confusion and misunderstandings that outsiders were not welcome. A polar vortex is expected to affect the local weather conditions for the next week keeping temperatures well below zero degrees, making safety the largest concern.
Directly addressing misconceptions currently being shared via social media, Iron Eyes stated that water levels are not rising and that the sacred fire was put out as a result to mark a new beginning. He continued by stressing that the action was intentional and it isn’t a result of anything but deliberate choices.
The All Nations camp is primarily focused on ensuring those remaining are warm, safe, and have a place to stay during the cold winter conditions and continued to inform people that if they are to make their way to camps that they are to be self-sufficient. For more information please reference Last Real Indian Facebook site or to message them directly. For donations, please reference Last Real Indians.
Darren Thompson (Ojibwe/Tohono O’odham) is a Native American flute player and writer from the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation in Northern Wisconsin. He contributes to Native Peoples Magazine, Native News Online, Native Max Magazine and Powwows.com. For more information please visit www.darrenthompson.net