Home / BREAKING NEWS / Breaking: ND Gov. Makes Emergency Declaration, Issues Mandatory Evacuation of Standing Rock Camp

Breaking: ND Gov. Makes Emergency Declaration, Issues Mandatory Evacuation of Standing Rock Camp

Perhaps significantly advancing the time frame designated in the Army Corps of Engineers’ notice several Standing Rock Camps would face some form of eviction on December 5, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple opportuned an incoming winter storm to issue a mandatory emergency evacuation order — for all encampments north of the Cannonball River.

Although the evacuation appears not be one of force, it is obligatory — all water protectors camping in Army Corps-managed land have been ordered by Dalrymple to take all possessions and vacate the area.

“These persons are ordered to leave the evacuation area immediately, and are further ordered not to return to the evacuation area,” the governor’s evacuation order states.

“Any action or inaction taken by any party which encourages persons to enter, reenter, or remain in the evacuation area will be subject to penalties as defined in law.

“I direct state agencies, emergency service officials, and nongovernmental organizations to reduce threats to public safety by not guaranteeing the provision of emergency and other governmental and nongovernmental services in the evacuation area, unless otherwise approved on a case by case basis by the Morton County Sheriff or Superintendent of the Highway Patrol.  The general public is hereby notified that emergency services probably will not be available under current winter conditions.”

While Dalrymple makes fairly apparent this will not be a forceful evacuation, the order parallels notice given Friday the Army Corps plans to close the same lands to the public as of December 5 — meaning all who choose to disobey would be subject to citations or appropriate legal action.

Controversy buzzed through social and other media upon the issuance of a letter to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chair Harold Frazier that water protectors camped north of the Cannonball River would be evicted as of December 5.

However, because that letter — sent Friday by Army Corps Omaha District Commander Col. John Henderson — did not provide any details concerning the logistics of that eviction, water protectors worried about the potential use of force.

Those concerns were putatively alleviated when Henderson vaguely clarified the notice of eviction with a press statement claiming the Army Corps “has no plans for forcible removal” of water protectors in the Oceti Sakowin and other camps in the specified area.

“Those who remain will be considered unauthorized and may be subject to citation under federal, state, or local laws. This will reduce the risk of harm to people in the encampments caused by the harsh North Dakota winter conditions,” it stated.

Gov. Dalrymple’s order appears to reiterate the same concerns, because, as the order states:

“[L]arge populations have chosen to stay in areas of Morton County managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers south of the Cantapeta Creek and the Cannonball River (The areas include the confluence with Cantapeta Creek east, east of North Dakota Highway 1806, north of the Cannonball River, and west of the Missouri River) in tents, vehicles, temporary and semi-permanent structures which have not been inspected and approved by Morton County as proper dwellings suitable for winter habitation,” and,

“the aforementioned areas of Morton County are not zoned for dwellings suitable for living in winter conditions, and also do not possess proper permanent sanitation infrastructure to sustain a living environment consistent with proper public health.”

Dalrymple explained emergency services would not be available to anyone remaining in the camps — as the Army Corps also did in its letter Friday — despite worsening conditions of a winter storm predicted to dump anywhere from eight to 15 inches of snow. Sources inside the camps, however, claim emergency services have been unresponsive to calls for some time — or have been hindered by a police and National Guard roadblock in place at Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge since October 27.

From the time of issuance of the emergency evacuation order, “Any person who chooses to enter, reenter, or stay in the evacuation does so at their own risk, and assumes any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence and occupation of the evacuation area.”

There are several open questions regarding jurisdiction in this complicated matter of a state governor issuing an order for lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers — additionally on the same lands Indigenous peoples consider unceded pursuant to treaties signed in 1851 and 1868.

Attorneys with appropriate knowledge of this matter were thus far unable to provide information for this report, although sources inside the camp say tribal lawyers are consulting on the matter.

[UPDATE] Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II later denounced the evacuation order as purely a tool of intimidation, stating:

“Today, Gov. Dalrymple issued an executive order calling for mandatory evacuation of all campers located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lands, also known as the Oceti Sakowin camp. This state executive order is a menacing action meant to cause fear, and is a blatant attempt by the state and local officials to usurp and circumvent federal authority. The USACE has clearly stated that it does not intend to forcibly remove campers from federal property. The Governor cites harsh weather conditions and the threat to human life. As I have stated previously, the most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold. If the true concern is for public safety than the Governor should clear the blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings. This is a clear stretch of state emergency management authority and a further attempt to abuse and humiliate the water protectors. The State has since clarified that they won’t be deploying law enforcement to forcibly remove campers, but we are wary that this executive order will enable further human rights violations.”

  • skyp0ckets

    They aren’t providing emergency services now. He probably wants to clear the area before the veterans arrive to avoid compounding his crappy reputation.

    • indio

      This is exactly and obviously want he is attempting to hide from. How dare he run from the vets who fought for this country.

    • Magdalene

      That is exactly what prompted the ACOE & the Gov to take these actions. They heard our veterans were coming. No coincidence here. I would lay money down that HARRP set the winter storm in motion.


    Doesn’t matter what he says..

  • MaybeYes

    Does that mean all the trucks and machinery will be leaving as well?

  • oldpol2

    Sounds like the governor is getting paid by the oil companies too

    • indio

      Oh, I am sure, either that or he is a pure racist.

      • oldpol2

        More likely both!

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    Funny how our ancestors survived THOUSANDS of winters living exactly like these people.

  • Hugh Culliton

    “Dalrymple explained emergency services would not be available to anyone remaining in the camp…”

    Does that mean that the state will stop shooting, gassing and spraying the protectors as well, or is the state going to assume full responsibility for anyone killed/injured due to police actions and the subsequent denial of emergency assistance? I highly doubt that such an action is legal or would stand up in court. Indeed, how can the state legally order people off of federal land? Who in hell is making these criminally stupid decisions?

    The more brutal the government forces get, the closer the Protectors are to victory.

    • oldpol2

      ‘First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.’ I hope to God this is correct

      • Hugh Culliton

        So do I. Thousands died during the “Quit India” civil disobedience protests led by Gandhi. It would be horrible if that’s what it took to stop this pipeline. However, given the violence surrounding the various American labor protests in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, a bloodbath is not off the table.

  • illegitimate governments produce all sorts of documents ..Laws Ordinances Decrees Proclamations and Orders. All nothing but words on paper proclaiming ‘authority’ . All stored in books and files indexed and correlated so has to be readily produced for inspection and has ‘proof’ of authority ……….but there is one group of documents that can not be reproduced nor presented for inspection..the document s we has individuals and humans have signed giving our consent to be governed…………..those do not exist , the governments operate under ASSUMED authority It has worked for eons but not for much longer the people are starting to figure it out …………….blood and bullets will always trump words on paper wood pulp and ink can not withstand the onslaught of a angry population that has had enough ………………. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed222abb966aabb9d1b71d683f1d06565107bed2ab49e7e7ec82f3d7df1b7e0c.png

    • JW Mack

      In the end the tyrants will win this particular battle, but the war is up for grabs!