Eugene Tapahe
Hundreds of water protectors gathered along Highway 1806 for prayer as Chief Arvol Looking Horse carried the Pipe to negotiate peace with law enforcement.

Spiritual Leaders Negotiate Impasse With Morton County Sheriff

Simon Moya-Smith

Low-flying helicopters and airplanes made it difficult for the crowd of roughly 300 people to hear Chief Arvol Looking Horse as he prayed on Saturday in North Dakota near the site where Morton County Sheriffs and water protectors had clashed days earlier.

Looking Horse, a Cheyenne River Hunkpapa and the 19th-generation keeper of the c’anupa, the sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe bundle, led a peaceful walk from the water protectors’ Treaty Camp for one-half mile on Highway 1806 toward the site where at least nine armored vehicles and numerous police remained stationed behind a makeshift wall of concrete barriers.

At 11:30 a.m., Looking Horse, wearing an eagle feather headdress and carrying the Pipe, walked across the bridge and into the Morton County Sheriffs’ encampment to discuss with law enforcement the possibility of reopening the bridge for safe passage. Meanwhile, an estimated 30 Jingle Dress dancers took to the front line and drowned out the whirring sound of aircrafts just above their heads. The elder dancers then spoke of the preciousness and need for clean water.

Looking Horse and Standing Rock elder Archie Fool Bear emerged 15 minutes later from behind the remains of three charred vehicles still abandoned on the bridge. The two men were suddenly summoned back by the sheriffs for a second round of discussions. Moments later, they shook hands and parted ways.

"They're not going to back down, we're not going to back down either," Looking Horse said to the crowd upon returning. "We come here to protect the sacred water."

Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier told Looking Horse and Fool Bear that they, too, wish to open the bridge for travel, allegedly saying that it would be "mutually beneficial for everybody."

Fool Bear expressed his concern for the safety of his people at Standing Rock and the camps, stating that with the road blocked, it now takes more than an hour to get to Bismarck when it typically takes 35 minutes. Fool Bear told ICTMN it is up to the North Dakota Department of Transportation to remove the blockade.

Fool Bear added that even though they had come to an agreement with sheriffs about reopening the bridge, “The fight's not over," he vowed.

"It's never going to be over," he said. "Since 1492 the fight's been on."

Fool Bear also wants accountability for how the water protectors were mistreated and manhandled during Thursday's events that left numerous people wounded from batons, rubber bullets, pepper spray and other weapons.

"I know there were people who were mistreated," Fool Bear said. "Someone needs to be held accountable."

Soon after several water protectors returned to camp, some of those jailed and released on Friday showed photos that began to circulate on social media of how authorities were tabulating those they arrested. Using markers, sheriffs officers branded numbers on the forearms of arrested water protectors.

"It's like Nazi Germany," one water protector who wishes to remain unidentified told ICTMN.

The leaders of Standing Rock and other elders are slated to meet with elected officials from the state and local authorities on Wednesday, November 2.

Police snipers could be seen through binoculars stationed on a hill to the east standing next to their armored vehicles while Looking Horse and Fool Bear spoke with sheriff’s officers.

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boujoie's picture
Submitted by boujoie on
At Standing Rock, the Mni Wiconi (Water Protectors) first began their stance for protection of our sacred waters, then for protection of our sacred sites, our Earth Mother and the resting bones of our ancestors buried there. The word went out: peace prayers welcome; knives, guns, weapons of any kind are banned. People outside of the Standing Rock Tribe and Sacred Stones Camp began to arrive. Many Nations and Tribes joined the Standing Rock Protectors in prayers of peace, including many from abroad. Indigenous peoples of ALL nations, whose spirits recognized the great call, also came. As the numbers swelled, so did those of the enforcers, paid off by (it has been said) the owners of the pipeline conglomerates ~ county, in-state, out-of-state, private mercenaries dressed in riot gear. As the numbers on both sides disproportionately escalated ~ riot gear, assault rifles, pepper spray, concussion grenades significantly alters the count of bodies alone. This is the same reservation where Barak Obama visited and vowed 'he had their backs'. Yes, he did order the Army Corps of Engineers to stand down; he did order the Departments of Justice (Attorney General) and Interior, along with the Department of Indian Affairs, to investigate. The Corps of Engineers, now apparently in the rich men's pockets, kept their bulldozers bulldozing everywhere other than specifically noted exempt areas or when The People chained themselves to the wheels. The DOJ, DOI and DIA are evidently still meeting. Notable people like Robert Redford, Jesse Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio and other actors and people of the arts visited Standing Rock and began to stand up on their behalf. So where is the mass media? Amnesty International? or the protectors for our Indigenous Peoples who, by example and way of life, have been the Protectors of our Earth Mother and All Her Inhabitants. There is a long history of mis-treatment and mass removals, including genocide of our Native Peoples, that is not going to be discussed here. NOW is the time to lay aside our deep wounds and grievances. NOW is the time to raise our sights up and out from the clinging depths of pain, anger, fear and rage, and awaken ourSelves into the bigger picture of ALL THAT WE ARE. Whether or not we know or reMember why we all birthed ourSelves onto this beautiful planet we call Earth, or Terra, or Gaia, I believe that, as Spirit Essence, we chose to be here at this time of the Great Awakening and Mending of the Sacred Hoop that the Hopi, the Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Nations via Black Elk, his nephew Frank Fools Crow, Crazy Horse, the Cherokee Nation, Hinmaton Ylatkt (Chief Joseph) of the Nez Perce Nation, and which so many others have spoken. From the bigger picture perspective, I believe that the events at Standing Rock are unfolding just as they are meant to be. Each person, no matter which "side" they appear to be functioning from, are all actively participating in bringing a Great Awakening to US ALL. Those at Standing Rock keep calling for our prayers. Aren't the purposes of prayers to lift us? to seek divine counsel from our Creator and from our Earth Mother? to bring our hearts into compassionate alignment? I believe that those who are holding the guns and attack dogs are giving us an opportunity to lift our judgments, our condemnations, our righteous angers to move onto a new matrix where LOVE IS ALL. I believe that those who are standing calmly, offering prayers of peace in the face of hostility, are showing us the way of BEING LOVE IS ALL. So many have walked before us, showing us how. In addition to those mentioned above, Gandhi birthed the nation-country of India by remaining non-violent; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesus the Christ personified being 'god-in-man/womyn'. Now it's OUR TURN. Every single one of US who resonates with this message: the TIME IS NOW! Joie RoundStar (I am Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, enrolled with the Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians. My father and his two brothers were removed to the Mission Schools. As a down-line result of their mis-treatment, I was not raised within my culture. My Spirit Name, "RoundStar" was given to me directly by Great Spirit during an altered state, over 20 years ago. I have just recently been given permission, by Great Spirit, to present myself as RoundStar. With Blessings of Great Gratitude to US ALL.