Published January 22, 2017
STANDING ROCK INDIAN RESERVATION – On Friday, January 20, 2017, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council passed a resolution by a unanimous vote to close the camps located on the banks of the Cannonball River: Oceti Sakowin Camp, Rosebud Camp and Sacred Stone Camp.
The tribe wants the encampments vacated by February 19, 2017.
While thousands have part of the encampments since last April, about 500 water protectors still remain. It is unclear on Saturday how many of those who remain will, in fact, leave.
There are several reasons why the tribal council voted to close the camps. Among the most urgent is the camps are located in a floodplain and the tribe needs time to ensure all debris leftover from the encampments will be eliminated prior to the rising water.
Here is the statement released by the tribe on Saturday:
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is grateful to all who have stood with us during our efforts to secure a thorough review of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Because we worked together, the Federal Government will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Moving forward, our ultimate objective is best served by our elected officials, navigating strategically through the administrative and legal processes.
Yesterday the Tribe passed a resolution brought forward by the Cannonball District which asked that no camps remain in the Cannonball District. Councilmen from across the reservation, including Cannonball, described the hardships and strain on the citizens and resources of our Nation. The Council passed the motion unanimously. For this reason, we ask the protectors to vacate the camps and head home with our most heartfelt thanks. Much work will be required to clean up before the spring thaw, which will flood the area. It is imperative we clean the camps and restore them to their original state before this flooding occurs. Once again, thank you, and we wish you well.