Five days after the October 27 military-style assault by police and Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) security personnel were launching a military-style attack on unarmed water protectors trying to stop the desecration of sacred burial sites, the construction has just about reached the shores of Lake Oahe, the dammed-off section of the Missouri River that serves as a water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and millions of other people.
This is well within the 20-mile buffer that the federal government asked Energy Transfer Partners, DAPL’s parent company, not to build in. And, as it turns out, it is also where sacred remains have in fact been found.
Even as the police action was under way, Dakota Access LLC was filing—10 days after the fact—a report that it had found four stone cairns, along with other artifacts, as it dug up ground along the pipeline route in Morton County, according to Forum News Service.
“Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, waited at least 10 days to notify the Public Service Commission [PSC] about an unanticipated discovery found in mid-October, a potential violation of the state permit that authorizes pipeline construction,” Forum News Service reported on November 1. “The company formally notified the PSC on Thursday, making the unanticipated discovery report a public record for the first time, the same day hundreds of law enforcement officers evicted protesters blocking the pipeline’s construction route on private land, leading to 141 arrests.”
The footage taken below shows just how close construction has come to the river, and how big the crossing would be. In the video, Standing Rock Dr0ne2bewild drone pilot Shiyé Bidziil narrates the flight, talking about his surprise at how fast they are working. The construction is going on day and night, according to witnesses.
“It surprised me in five days that they got from the other side of where the dog attacks were all the way, basically to the river now, they’re building the drill pad foundation for it,” he says. “Everybody’s mad. Everyone feels hurt. Everyone feels broken, but we can’t let them break us. We just have to stand here and do what we can.”
And in the end, the living may not be the only ones with a say, Bidziil says.
“It’ll catch up to them though. All those spirits they’re disturbing, they’re gonna carry, and they’re gonna follow them back to where they’re from,” Bidziil says. “That’s one thing around here, when it comes to spirits, you gotta pray for them. Otherwise if you don’t, they’re gonna haunt you, and they’re gonna get you. It might not happen tomorrow or the next day, but it’s gonna happen before your life is over, and it’s going to make you very miserable. They’ll tear you down from inside and eat your soul away.”