In a statement released on Tuesday, Standing Rock Sioux’s Tribal Chairman, Dave Archambault II celebrated the victory of the water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline but urged that it was time to close the Oceti Sakowin camp and return home, citing a concern over potential harm coming to water protectors because of worsening winter conditions and further police action with no more gain to be had.
“I know this is a victory for this one DAPL battle, but we have not yet won the DAPL war,” Archambault said. “There will be more battles ahead and we will continue to strategize and win. The camp has brought us this far—now it is time we pivot to the next phase of this struggle. That will be lead on different fronts like in court, with the new Administration, with Congress, and with the investors.”
Several videos and social media posts by Water Protectors stationed at Standing Rock vowed to stay and continue to keep watch and fight, citing concern that this part of the battle is not yet over. Barricades and a strong police presence in the area are still cut off access to construction sites and the drill pad. There have been rumors that the DAPL may attempt to drill under Lake Oahe but so far these rumors have been unsubstantiated and reportedly provoked by DAPL running the drill pad without advancing.
“Energy Transfer Partners cannot cross the easement, even if they drill,” Archambault assured. “They may drill up to the federal lands to try to provoke the campers. They will do this to create the illusion that the Army Corps of Engineers made the wrong decision. We do not need to engage them in this.”
You can find the release in its entirety here
If you would like to contribute to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s battle against DAPL, you may do so here