Information Point

Terri Miles

I’m heading along the 1806 in North Dakota and thinking maybe when people pass through the checkpoint, er…I mean “information point” on their way south from Bismarck along the 1806 and just north of the Sacred Stone Camp by 25 miles, they should share some information with the North Dakota National Guardsmen who have relieved the law enforcement officers of the onerous (something) point task.

Let them know about the people in your family who served in the military, about who was wounded. Tell them who died in battle, who died long after but too soon, and about your service. I know it will be a long list and this information sharing might cause a major traffic jam, but they should know, if they are deployed for escalating the violence, who they are being called in against.

In case you haven’t heard because you work for one of the major news networks, the North Dakota National Guard will be utilized to man the aforementioned “information point,” freeing up law enforcement to properly patrol the 1806 and give the camps a more prominent police presence that was lacking when they were stretched so thin by having to man the roadblock with what looked like eight officers at a time.

The need for reinforcements is based on lots of rumors, or statements to law enforcement, about shady characters taking pictures and wearing masks. No arrests or actual reports have been filed because people fear retaliation, but, hey, rumor has it.

The “information point” is located at the same spot the roadblock was located, but now all travelers will be allowed to use the 1806. Travelers from Bismarck heading south will no longer have to travel hours out of their way to get to their destination. Vacationers will still not be allowed to utilize campgrounds in between the “information point” and the Sacred Stones Camp.

The armed Guardsmen will let people through the “information point” after they have…well…given information. Not too clear on what information, but I’ll ask next time I go. Not sure why they will be armed, either. I mean, how valuable is the “information?” I’d tell ya but then I’d have to kill ya valuable or just hey I got a gun don’t try me valuable?

When asked during the press conference regarding the use of the North Dakota National Guard, Major General Al Dohrmann, the adjutant general of North Dakota’s National Guard, commented that the North Dakota National Guard was last deployed after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

The facts that this is the largest gathering of Native Americans in our generation, that approximately 200 Native Nations are standing in support of each other in opposition to a corporate entity, that the world is watching and commenting, that it ranks up there with 911 in North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple’s mind, made it painful to watch the President of the United States fumble over his response when asked a question about the events in Standing Rock while at a Town Hall meeting in Laos.

Prior to this announcement of the use of the North Dakota National Guard there was a major incident at the construction site. On Saturday, September 3rd, on a holiday weekend, when it seemed construction had been halted, the Water Protectors found out the sacred sites identified the day before to the courts were being destroyed.

They went onto the private land to place their bodies in the way, to stop the desecration. A private security force came in with attack dogs and Mace! Against U.S. citizens. What? How did we trip back to the 60s?

Oh, wait—Indians haven’t been citizens of the U.S. for more than a hundred years yet so maybe there is a clause or something. I digress, so let me repeat: When Native People practiced their right to protect their sacred spaces by placing their bodies in the way of destructive bulldozers they were Maced and had attack dogs set on them by private security forces. Men, women and children were bitten by the dogs. A private security firm attacked citizens of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and nothing happened!

No arrests were made. Most of the mainstream media and the POTUS remained silent! Except for Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC. Dude, we love you! Oh, and The New York Times—thanks, guys! Okay, there are more—like Democracy Now! and NPR and such—but where is the 24/7 coverage Trump’s hair gets?

Now, beyond belief, six to a few dozen armed North Dakota National Guardsmen—the number was not clear—will be visibly placed for every person coming down the 1806 to see. Approximately 100 guardsmen from the 191st Military Police Company will be available in case of need. There are a total of 4,100 guardsmen available in North Dakota in case of need. These are the words from the press conference held by Governor Jack Dalrymple. In case of need.

Hey guardsman, my father and five of my uncles served in the Army from the Korean War through Vietnam: Richard Miles, Jeff Miles, Jack Miles, and Charles J. Miles who served during Korea and was awarded the Bronze Star. Joseph Miles, who served during Vietnam, and my father John T. Miles, who served during the Vietnam Era. I’m in camp periodically. If they order you to come in guns blazing, can you remember that?

Terri Miles is a Muscogee (Creek) citizen, Sac & Fox family member, and Seminole descendant. Born and raised in Chicago, she moved to Bloomington in 2006 to pursue a Ph.D. in criminal justice. She volunteered at, held various offices with, and created programming for NAGSA and FNECC. She currently works for a social service agency in Bloomington.


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