North Dakota U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Published November 27, 2016
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA— Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, on Saturday praised the 10-day eviction notice the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Friday. The eviction notice came in a letter to the tribe’s Chairman Dave Archambault II saying the Oceti Sakowin camp must be vacated by December 5, 2016.
Heitkamp has been quiet about standoff at Standing Rock, where thousands of American Indian and allied water protectors have been camping to fight the proposed Dakota Access pipeline. Prior to her statement released Saturday, she only commented briefly on September 9, 2016 saying that it’s absolutely imperative that as the significant issues that have been raised by both sides are considered…”
Citing safety concerns for both sides, on Saturday her statement said in part:
“The decision by the Army Corps is a needed step to support the safety of residents, workers, protestors, and law enforcement,” said Heitkamp in a statement. “Safety must remain the top priority for everyone, and to help make that possible, it’s critical protestors peacefully and lawfully move off of the Corps land north of the Cannonball River and to the identified federal and tribal lands. There has been an escalation of violence among some of the protestors that puts their lives, as well as the lives of law enforcement, residents, and land owners in jeopardy.
We will continue to work together in a bipartisan way to make sure the Corps’ decision is adhered to and that all North Dakotans are protected. That also means the Administration must make a decision on the easement under Lake Oahe – just as I pressed the White House for again during a conversation last week. For too long, we have waited in limbo as the decision is put off. This issue needs to be put to rest once and for all for the sake of the safety of our communities.”