TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Ambush At Standing Rock

It’s hard to articulate what has happened and is still happening to the Native American population.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, his scout, Drew Wrigley, and his alter-ego, Kevin Cramer, are either disconnected from the reality of what is happening at Standing Rock or are simply too uninformed or too cowardly to act in a responsible leadership role.

Philip Strobel is program director of National Environmental Protection Act in the Region 8 Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Ecosystems Protection. In March, he asked for an updating of the draft environmental assessment — that it be revised to assess potential impacts to drinking water and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, as well as additional concerns over environmental justice and the emergency response actions in case of oil spills and leaks. Based on the importance of these concerns, he recommended a revised draft.

The Native Americans of Standing Rock prepared a list and filed it. It showed where graves, sacred sites and artifacts were located on the land in question.

On Saturday (Sept. 3), a group of men, women and children walked on foot to the original protest site. And guess what!

The Dakota Access Pipeline people had seen their list of sacred sites … and sent out a work crew, with no notice to anyone and on a holiday weekend, to bulldoze the earth. Their crew destroyed the graves and sacred sites that had been identified in the tribe’s report to create the path for the pipe to be laid right across them!

The tribe had no notice this was going to happen or that, in fact, the destruction was under way. When they came upon the scene, with trucks and bulldozers in motion, you can imagine their hurt, anger and outrage at what was happening to their sacred lands.

You can bet the farm they walked up to the fence — over, under and around it — to protest the destruction. Men, women and children demanded that they stop.

What did the agents of the Three Mouseketeers (Dalrymple, Wrigley and Cramer) do? I saw the video shot by witnesses: What they did was mace or pepper spray the Natives and bring out attack dogs without warning. The dogs bit everything in sight (including their handlers). One bit a horse and was rewarded with a kick to its body that sent said dog to the vet hospital.

The handlers couldn’t control those dogs. Unlike well-trained police with their equally trained K-9s, these boneheads created a panic with their uncontrolled shepherds and pit bulls. Unlike other breeds, when a pit bull bites, it doesn’t release, which is why you don’t see law enforcement use them.

In the hands of rogue, untrained security people, these animals are weapons. The security staff were not authorized to use weapons. If I’d scan the laws carefully, I think I could come up with authority to charge them.

There are legal cases across this country where dogs have been held to be deadly weapons and the owners held responsible. Police dogs are an exception; otherwise, I’ve seen no authority that would allow these rent-a-cops to turn their animals loose on the Native Americans.

Since North Dakota’s cowardly mainstream media, including the state’s largest newspaper, have not reported on these events in any meaningful way, I have searched national newspapers, TV media, the Native American news outlets and witnesses who were there Saturday to obtain the information we need to understand.

Once again, I note, the governor, lieutenant governor and our lone U.S. congressman have done nothing but throw more gasoline on the flames of bigotry and injustice. In statements and interviews, they are calling the protectors “lawbreakers, thugs and criminals,” turning a blind eye (or one that’s simply uninformed) to the plight the tribes are in.

The courts will rule on some parts of this standoff this week. In the meantime, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion Sunday (Sept. 4) to block further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The oil companies know exactly what they are doing. They’ve taken a page out of the Trump “Bully’s Playbook” and are trying to run roughshod over our Original Americans. The state’s three top government individuals to whom I’ve referred, being supporters of the world’s most dangerous man, are happy to let them do it.

Word went out during the protest that a government helicopter was in the air. If that’s correct, why wasn’t local law enforcement called in to maintain the peace and corral the nut jobs with the vicious dogs? On the other hand, if local law enforcement didn’t know what the oil company was doing, perhaps they should bring in someone with the brains god gave a goat to monitor the situation — and to serve and protect “everyone”?

Of course, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven was also an outspoken supporter of TransCanada and its now-failed Keystone XL pipeline, as well as this comparable line by Energy Transfer Partners of Texas. I suppose the fact that he has a personal investment in 68 different oil-producing wells under the auspices of Mainstream Investors LLC has something to do with it.

According to his most recent congressional personal financial disclosure form — one-fourth of them within 18 miles of the terminal of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Watford City.

Do you suppose that might influence his position? (Go ahead — at this point, either choke or gasp, as you wish.)

Hoeven is also a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. It is supposed to ensure tribal concerns are heard and adequately addressed. Sen. Hoeven’s representative says he makes his decisions based solely on merit! Native lands vs. Big Oil? Hmm, it would appear that he should get off Indian Affairs and go directly to the Committee on Shills for the Oil Industry.

This is all about Standing Rock and Native American issues:  protecting their rights, their traditions, their religious beliefs from encroachment and — in far too many cases — destruction of their way of life.

Ask yourself: What would you do if it were your home, farmstead, the burial site of your ancestors’ remains, your sacred relics, your only water supply, and everything you deemed as essential to your life … and a foreign power came in to destroy it?

Now ask yourself what you would do if you were Native American. That very scenario exists.

The Native Americans have had much more patience than I would, considering what they’ve had to endure and put up with. The fact that Indian Nations from all across this country are backing our North Dakota and South Dakota tribes ought to send a message to our leaders (if, in fact, you can find any here) that they must put the brakes on this pipeline until a route can be found to avoid Native lands.

I am so proud of the self-control the tribes have maintained while these political ambushes continue. The God I honor, and the Spirits and God they honor, too, know their cause is right. The non-natives pushing this misguided plan would do well to consult their own God, instead of their bank accounts. Then this patriotic action by the Water Protectors will succeed. Amen.


42 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Ambush At Standing Rock”

  • Mary Ann September 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for your informative articles regarding this issue.

    1. Donna Hagen September 9, 2016 at 12:15 am

      The tribe has legitamete reason to want it stopped. Why must you disrupt their burial grounds! If that was a cemetery you wouldn’t have gotten by. These ppl have a right to their land and water. To lay pipe right over their grounds like that shows total disregard for their concerns. Bully buroucrats are a dime a dozen these days. Show respect and move the pipeline.

  • Heather Kelly September 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Thank you for pointing out all the injustices going on…

  • Matthew Croxton September 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Let the racist comments begin

  • Silly Whabbit September 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    They wouldn’t let you doze through The Garden of Stone at Arlington. Wh allow then do to it at Our Gardens of Stone?
    Thanks for the write up.

  • Greg September 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Well written

  • Darryle Grady September 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you Tom Davies, this is better then our own ND biased tv news and newspaper coverage.

  • Paul Hewitt September 7, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    It’s sad that I only hear about this through Facebook and not on the news. My family and friends had no idea that this was going on. This must be stopped. You can’t destroy sacred land!

  • Rodney Beveridge September 7, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Dear sir, I appreciate all you have said but in regards to your “Pit Bull” comment I wish that you would educate yourself to the breed! It is fact that their jaws do not lock and it is also fact that a German Shepard has more bite power per square inch than a pit bull! That being said carry on your good work of reporting the truth but areas you are grey or uninformed in please take the time to do some research so people don’t discredit your information due to a few bad facts!

    1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) September 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      You are correct. I thought the dog I was looking at was a pit bull.

      1. Linda September 8, 2016 at 4:47 am

        I actually had that dog lunge at me and try to bite me. The only thing that saved me was the fact that a DA worker walked by and the dog turned to attack him. I also thought it was a pitbull at the time and was later corrected…it is a cane corso. But I can tell you – the breed doesn’t matter much when it is as big as you and its handler is encouraging it to maul you.

    2. James Freire September 8, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Thank you for clarifying that misstatement regarding “pit bulls”, which is an inaccurate term itself. I would also like to see a video clip of a “pit bull” used here. All incidents I have seen involved German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois type dogs. I saw no bully breeds in any video. As stated they are not suited for the work or usually even trained for it, not that the dogs shown were trained for much more than aggression. At any rate a small correction and a note that ones whole argument can fall when personal opinion is presented as fact. The Bully book comment was also not relevant. Drawing a comparison it is more a “Pinkerton” type maneuver than the analogy used. I only make these remarks as constructive criticism as I am in complete solidarity with Standing Rock. My concern is when hyperbole dilutes the message.

  • Jennifer Hathaway September 7, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you, Sir.

    1. Gwen Larsen September 8, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Thank you, Mr. Davis, for an important essay that I hope “goes viral” online – in support of the Indian protests at Standing Rock Reservation. It’s already reached me – a 65 year old South Dakota born woman now residing in Singapore – via my son’s selected post for his Occupy Orange County readers in California. So, as the saying goes, “it’s a small world”. But one that is still in control by God, who cares for/about ALL his creation – people, land, animals – and that we in turn care about others and steward that creation wisely. It sounds like we agree on that, amen?

      1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) September 8, 2016 at 10:57 pm

        Wow, hello to you in Singapore.

      2. Char Sines October 2, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        I happened upon this website via an article written by a different contributor. Who knew such such beauty existed? As a result, I’ve taken to sharing the articles – via direct links – to my Facebook page in an effort to share the Truth about what is happening in North Dakota.
        As someone who eschews television news, I cannot honestly say what is being “reported”, but I can venture a guess that it is very likely copious piles of bovine excrement. My readers and listeners expect quality, truthful news and reports; thankfully UnheraldedFish brings them exactly that.
        Judge Davies, thank you so much for your delightful insight. May you be richly blessed.
        Char Sines – Founder, Constitutional Truth

  • C. J. Worth September 7, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    The officials and oil execs are following the dictates of their God. The God of Money.

  • Jeannette Carroll September 7, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for giving voice to this issue. I cannot believe the amount of neglect local media has shown with regards to this historic event. Please keep up the good work.

  • Faith September 7, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    The stand that is happening at the peaceful protest is for the benefit of all. The protection of “source” or Mother Nature is to ensure that future generations have a chance. This isn’t about one race. We stand for all. Thank you for the words. I appreciate the thought behind it and I understand the gap you are helping to close is too wide for some to grasp. But we will never lose faith. We have too much at stake don’t you think? Thank you

  • Darin September 7, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    How did they get those sacred sites back on top of the construction area where the Northern Border pipeline was built in 1982? After all these lines run right next to each other for this very reason. This one sided hit piece of an article is making so many connections that aren’t real that I literally laughed out loud. The EPA doesn’t have a say in the Corps permitting process and when the Corps met with the Tribe they couldn’t say where or what the sacred sites were. They didn’t decide to point out any until September 2nd after construction had begun and the protests were already out of hand and illegal.

    The water intake that everyone is so worried about is scheduled to be shut down by the end of the year because it was in an area that was too shallow and was causing problems so they will be getting their water from Mobridge, SD 70 miles away as soon as they get their own pipeline (which will not affect any sacred sites I’m sure) completed. They got money from the Feds through a grant though so that pipeline is o.k. I guess.

    This started out as a protest for water, and remained peaceful for many months. As soon as opportunists got ahold of it, the dynamic changed. Outside groups came in and destroyed the peace, and were forced out of the original camp by the first protesters to start their own because they were too extreme. It then became about “keep the oil in the soil”. Then it became about no consultation (which the corps documents and the state PSC debunked). I don’t want to leave out the death threats to the Department of Emergency Services Director for “cutting off the water supply” which wasn’t true but it made for great click bait. Then it became about sacred sites, which seems to be a farce too because this ground had already been torn up for a pipeline. I can’t keep up anymore, but I’m pretty sure that everyone is either a racist or néeds to get a job from what I’ve read on social media.

    1. Linda September 8, 2016 at 5:41 am

      You are sadly misinformed and blinded by your own privilege. The people of Standing Rock have always known of these sites and they are documented at the North Dakota State Historical Society. However, since they are located on private land, the tribe had never secured permission to document the sites more thoroughly. These sites had never been disturbed…the Northern Border Pipeline runs just north of this area. Why do you have such a problem with us holding on to the tiny bit that we have left? Why is this such an issue for you? Could it be because you have no culture of your own, so you lack the necessary empathy? Or perhaps some part of you is nervous about what you probably percieve as an old fashioned “Indian uprising,” because deep in your heart, you know that you are occupying Aboriginal lands.

      From the beginning, we have been saying that this camp…one camp, unified and beautiful…is not just about water, sacred sites, or curbing our fossil fuel addiction. It is about all of that, and more. *I’ve collected sacred edible and medicinal plants in this area. *There is an endangered species of butterfly that frequents this area. *The EIS is dismal; there was no tribal consultation PRIOR to the EIS (if you disagree, provide proof of meeting dates and times, because we can provide documentation of numerous calls to DA that were never returned). *The DAPL will carry the dirtiest oil around. Why would the people of Standing Rock support fracked oil after seeing what that industry has done to the land, water, and people up north? Finally, yeah, this is also about the fact that *we don’t need new fossil fuel infrastructure. We don’t need to squeeze the remaining drops of oil out of Mother Earth just so you don’t have to walk to your nearest fast food restaurant. This is the end of the fossil fuels age and we must find more sustainable ways of making the world “go.” The EROI of the oil industry is no longer profitable in any measure and is further contributing to the national debt.

      Enough is enough.

      You don’t get to define what is important or sacred to us. You don’t get to determine what is best for us. You don’t get to decide how far a pipeline can be located from our water intake before it becomes dangerous.

      Oh , and by the way, you’re welcome to visit camp as my guest. I’ll feed you, we’ll visit, and I’ll introduce you to all the “extreme outsiders,” aka my friends and family. Sending prayers of peace and happiness for you and your family.

      1. Vicki Poh September 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

        Very well written Linda. I’m sharing everything I can find, correcting the stories that include misinformation and encouraging people to follow this, sign the petitions and make it viral since the media is not doing their job. You have many people in your corner, rooting for you and hoping that you succeed. May the Spirits watch over you all and keep you safe.

      2. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) September 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

        With all due respect my entire article was in support of Native issues and opposed to the Pipeline

      3. catrinka marvis September 8, 2016 at 6:01 pm

        i love you!!!!!

      4. Sam September 12, 2016 at 10:41 am

        Linda, I appreciate your response to Darin’s comments. I’m an Alaska native that has been supporting Standing Rocks efforts to stop or reroute the pipeline. Originally, it was my intention to only read the comments but, yours had enticed me to comment. If only just to thank you for speaking up. Enough is enough…

  • Davone September 7, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Classic journalism at it’s finest.

  • Norine September 7, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you for your article and referral to our higher power as a human race. In the end that’s what will matter. How we carry ourselves in this lifetime. In the end we face our maker. Prayers to the politicians and their families and followers who have sold out to their future generations.

  • Pamela J Shaw September 8, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Thank you for your point of view, and the misfacts, no one is perfect. Yes it is ashame that our own Government snubs the Native American and their problems. So sad. And the fact that men in power are so corrupt, and driven by selfish views and by money. This Pipeline has many supporters and rest assured there will be disasters all along its path…Not only the Native Americans will suffer other non-Natives are there in its path. But, I guess thats ok. The nonNative all got a nice bonus for giving up a little bit of there land. It must be nice…..

    1. catrinka marvis September 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      i wish people would wake up…

  • Ryman LeBeau September 8, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Wopila! For telling the truth. Good man.

  • Karin September 8, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Looks like to me sir you have made this a political stance on who you are voting for president! Trump has nothing to do with this! We have been living with an agenda in this country for the past 8 years on building prejudice amongst all Americans! Look what the Bureau of land management has done to the families in the west, southwest, and northwest! The African Americans, a select few, on Black Lives matter! Now we have a matter of fighting with our Native Americans!
    I haven’t been up there and if they have went thru sacred land and distroyed graves this is unacceptable! This is a matter that should be addressed By higher ups as in our government and representitves! The reservations are a Sovereign Nation! We the people need to protect the rights given to us, alll races, that were established by our Founding For fathers!! So Sir, I believe we need change in several aspects of this country!

    1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) September 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      With all due respect my reference to Trump was not political—Too bad one sentence blinded you to the story itself where we are not in disagreement.

  • Jane Gilstrap Vogel September 8, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Stand for What is Right; not for what is prestigious, party favors, big money. Remember Silkwood! My little 4’9 GGma Irish Catholic stood against the Clan that is KKK and the State Gov. To protect Huron burial grounds with women and shotguns. What courage. PS it is still there. Next to the Library in KCK.

  • Patricia Hammel September 8, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Mr. Davis if you are still licensed in North Dakota there are people who need your help in Morton County and I can ask the other lawyers to contact you

    1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) September 8, 2016 at 11:46 am

      I am no longer licensed and have retired as Judge so I can’t provide legal advice.

  • Marilyn Atcitty September 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Retired Honorable Judge Tom Davies, I implore you, to please meet immediately with your current Govenor of North Dakota. He is calling out the ND National Guard! Talk some sense into him. He will have to live with his conscience if anyone is injured or wounded on both sides. Someone is influencing $$$ him to take the wrong path. Some members of the NG do not want to take this type of drastic unwarranted action. From your articles, you seem to understand the outright racism showed toward the Water Protectors. Wish another person as strong as the late Robert Kennedy, who supported non-violence, would do what right. This is about saving water for ALL of our grandchildren.

  • Jane September 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you, Judge Tom Davies, for the time line of events and your insightful comments. I stand with you and the First Nations on this issue.

  • Lisa Anderson September 9, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you for getting out the story when every form of cowardly media in our state has turned their back to these people. It is so sad.

  • Tony September 12, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    When will we realized being peaceful will do nothing… we will keep doin this til all our people are dued out by the pale faces…. we need to stand and fite bak they brought their weapons to hurt its time to give bak what they deserve…. soon we will take the fite to them… soon it will be red dawn

  • Thomas Sanchez September 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    How dare you interrupt this one-sided and extremely biased hate for the white-man article and comment section with your rational logic and real facts?

    The article of course left out the part about the helicopters filming the entire incident, passing it to the state unedited, and having the state conclude the natives trampled a fence and entered their place of business un-peacefully and were trespassing. Hopefully this tape is sent to the general public.

    The reporter who filmed the natives obviously cherry picked the pieces shown in the video, leaving off anything leading to the self-defense of the Security crew. The article also fails to mention that the natives brought their own Pitbulls and horses. Yet it’s the security company at fault for having their own dogs?

    In August of this year “North Dakota’s chief archaeologist says a report of possible human remains being found at a pipeline construction site is unfounded.”

    Magically some appeared a day before construction?
    Also there are already oil pipelines running under the Missouri river, as well as all other major US rivers.

    In addition, the alternative to a pipeline is using railroad to move oil, which not only obviously burns more oil, while emitting into the environment, which has effects on the entire earth’s long term well being, but it also puts human lives at risk of being burned to death horrifically. Watch any video of a train oil cargo explosion and you’ll see the risk.

    But once again…how dare you Darin? You’re not supposed to know this stuff, you’re just supposed to hate the white-man and corporate America and not ask questions or dig for facts. That just makes it less fun and a waste of time and resources when you could be working? Oh wait…….nevermind 🙂

  • Margie Adaime September 15, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I can’t believe some of these people .The people who live there are having so much to deal with .and you are upset because they said something bad about the bit bull breads . I am a animal lover .and I have Indian ancestors. My family on my father’s side are almost gone so it’s hard to find out more information. I feel for these people and I hope someone will step in to help them.

  • Thomas Sanchez September 15, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    @Margie – The point of me mentioning the native americans bringing Pitbull’s to the protest, is that none of the Pro-Protester articles mention that the Protesters had their own (Pitbull) dogs barking at the security guards and their dogs….not to mention several individuals on horses. If they are going to complain about security having dogs to stop them from trespassing, maybe they should look in the mirror? Oh yeah that 4 legged creature standing next to you….that’s a dog too!


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