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Cultural Survival Strongly Condemns Excessive Force Used on Standing Rock Water Protectors

Cultural Survival strongly condemns the recent attacks by the State of North Dakota and Morton County Sheriff’s Department in response to the Standing Rock Water Protectors direct action during the evening hours of November 20th, 2016. 

Cultural Survival stands in solidarity with the Water Protectors who were attempting to remove state vehicles currently blocking north access to Standing Rock along country road 1806.  The state placed road block has created problems for emergency vehicles needing access to the demonstration camps and is restricting the free movement of demonstrators. Last night, during sub-zero temperatures, state law enforcement agents used water cannons, tear gas, mace, non-lethal ammunition and sound cannons in their successful oppression of the unarmed, peaceful Water Protectors who made a move to open the north passage along 1806 to Standing Rock and the demonstration sites.

According to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, between 200-300 people were transported late Sunday night to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation for treatment for hypothermia, facial and hand wounds, and other minor injuries. Others with more serious injuries were taken to Bismarck for treatment — including two elders who were tear gassed and suffered near cardiac arrest.

Cultural Survival stands with Standing Rock in denouncing the oppressive actions by the State of North Dakota, the Morton county sheriff’s department and all assisting agencies.  We call upon all people to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Water Protectors on the frontlines in their defense of tribal sovereignty, water rights and free prior and informed consent. 


We urge all to contact:

  1. North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple

Ask for peaceful resolution, and that respect be shown for the constitutional rights of those engaging in nonviolent direct actions involving civil disobedience. Ask him to recuse himself from the State Industrial Commission and avoid conflicts of interest in his service to the People of North Dakota and Big Oil. Ask him to visit the camps and share prayers and songs with our people, to listen to us as human beings who want only to protect our children and our future generations, and our water.


  1. Morton County Sheriff’s Department
     701-667-3330 & 701-328-8118
    Demand they end these life-threatening attacks on peaceful unarmed protectors immediately. Ask for a demilitarization of their tactics and to protect ALL North Dakota citizens and visitors. Request that they refrain from mass arrests, macing, clubbing, hooding, strip searching, and armed confrontation with UNARMED peaceful water protectors engaged in constitutionally protected civil disobedience. Ask them to inform their officers about treaty law, federal Indian law, and to provide training to their officers on sacred sites protections and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


  1. President Obama
    (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414

Ask President Obama to deny the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Remind his administration of their commitment to combating climate change, and to implementing green/renewable energy solutions -- and that fracking and fracked oil are NOT clean. Remind Obama of commitments he signed onto under UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, that Indigenous Peoples must give their Free, Prior, Informed Consent before any projects that may affect them.


  1. Army Corps of Engineers
    (202) 761-5903

Ask them to deny the DAPL the permit. Remind them that the federally mandated Tribal Consultation Process is broken when Tribal Nations are merely informed that projects are already in process on our doorsteps, but have not been given the opportunity to propose alternatives. Free, Prior and Informed Consent was not conducted, and this is a violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  1. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
    (202) 514-4609

In it's September 9 statement, the United States Department of Justice said: "The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety." Call the DOJ Civil Rights Division and tell them they are not doing enough and must take immediate action to protect peaceful demonstrators' first amendment rights:

  1. Energy Transfer Partners

Urge Energy Transfer partners to respect President Obama’s request to voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe. Commit to a peaceful resolution. You will ultimately lose more profits the longer you fail to respect communities rights, as we will not back down.

Lee Hanse Executive
Vice President Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
800 E Sonterra Blvd #400 San Antonio, Texas 78258
(210) 403-6455,

Glenn Emery Vice President Energy Transfer Partners
800 E Sonterra Blvd #400 San Antonio, Texas 78258
(210) 403-6762,

Michael (Cliff) Waters Lead Analyst Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
1300 Main St. Houston, Texas 77002
(713) 989-2404


DONATE to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund ​Make a donation to the Official Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund through PayPal. Donations will be used for legal, sanitary and emergency purposes!

Photo by A. Golden/Flickr.