North Dakota Governor Activates National Guard, Tribal Leaders Respond
OCETI SAKOWIN TERRITORY—On Thursday, September 8, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple officially activated the National Guard to assist security near the site of the demonstrations near Standing Rock, alarming many campers, water protectors and supporters at the Oceti Sakowin camp along the river.
“When we first heard about the possibility of the National Guard coming, it was almost trauma response,” said Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktowan elder, who was present when the word came down. “A lot of people went numb because the idea of the military came in.
“To an average non-Native person, that might feel safe,” Spotted Eagle told ICTMN. “To us, it feels really familiar, and it personally takes me back to the Whitestone Massacre. But we know how to handle these situations,” she said. “We pray. We support and listen to each other, and seek consensus to know that we are safe. We all play a part in deciding what’s best for the people.”