Governor Jack Dalrymple’s office has sent out a press release today detailing a meeting between the governor and Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault.
According to the release the meeting was attended by five other members of the Standing Rock tribal council as well as Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, North Dakota Indian Affairs Director Scott Davis, Alan Dohrmann, Adjutant General of the North Dakota National Guard, Col. Mike Gerhart of the North Dakota Highway Patrol and Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schultz.
You can read the full release below. It’s very hopeful stuff. I think just about everyone in North Dakota, both on the reservation and off, is looking forward to finding some comity again after the mayhem and violence of the #NoDAPL protests.
This, to me, was the most interesting news from it:
The population of the main protest camp in southern Morton County has diminished to about 300 people, from a peak of nearly 10,000. During the meeting, Archambault stated that protestors continue to leave the encampment, which may be completely vacated by January 1.
I hope that’s true, though it’s not clear that Archambault and/or the Standing Rock council will be listened to by the hard core activists which remain in the camp on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land.
Chase Iron Eyes, erstwhile candidate for Congress on the North Dakota Democratic Party’s ticket, has been suggesting on Facebook that the tribal council doesn’t have the authority to close the camps:
I hope the protesters listen to leaders like Archambault, and not Iron Eyes.
Here’s the full press release: