On November 28, 2016 North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple ordered that the Water Protectors leave the Oceti Sakowin Camp located north of the Cannon Ball River. In his executive order he stated:
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.
Geeks Without Bounds would like to reiterate that we will continue to serve the people who have gathered on land that was described as territory of The Great Sioux Nation in the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty no matter what the governor of North Dakota may say about this. We would further like to point out that it is hypocritical to claim that the reason for an evacuation order is for the safety of the people and then to tell governmental and non-governmental emergency services not to render assistance to those people covered by the evacuation order.
While it is true that winter conditions are harsh in North Dakota, and we have only had the first of what will surely be many winter storms to come, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the leaders of Oceti Sakowin Camp have both reminded the Governor that “the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota people of The Great Sioux Nation have survived in this region for millennia without the concerns of state or county governments, and in fact have thrived here without wide ranging impact on the local flora, fauna, and without the devastating results of natural resource gouging for personal or corporate profits.”
We are grateful to the many people and organizations who are standing with us to provide support to this community which has had their land, their rights, and their livelihoods stolen from them over the last two centuries. We know that in a connected world, no community can withstand the ravages of a corporation’s greed in isolation. To that end, we will continue to do all that we can to provide communications infrastructure and support through Internet, radio, and telephony for the sunny days and the stormy ones, and we will continue to work with our team on the ground to coordinate the various renewable electric generation resources that are coming into camp so that everyone can have a safe, warm, and well lit home through the winter.