During the first weekend of December, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had an influx of thousands of veterans from all over the country in an effort to provide assistance and security to the thousands of people camped near the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Originally hoping for 300 veterans to come to Standing Rock, organizers were surprised that more than 4,000 veterans answered the call to action. Blizzard conditions halted the entire region throughout the planned dates of actions leaving organizers and the Standing Rock community overwhelmed with many people stranded as travel was halted and roads were closed.
The Tribe’s Prairie Knights Casino accommodated those that were stranded by opening it’s entertainment pavilion along with other community centers and gymnasiums throughout the reservation. After weather conditions cleared, many veterans were left stranded having no place to go and no resources to assist, giving the only option of staying at the encampments near the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In coordination with the call to action, organizers set up a GoFundMe campaign to assist with travel and miscellaneous costs for the weekend of actions and raised more than $1 million. With the amount of those stranded and lack of assistance, questions have been raised causing mistrust on the transparency of the use of funds.
Continue reading to next page