Standing Rock, Sacred Stone Camp, DAPL: Sacred Treaty Lands & Waters

My legal takeaway from Standing Rock and the Sacred Stone Camp:

Those sacred lands and the sacred lands astride the Missouri River in rightful dispute, are reserved ancestral Sioux Treaty territory.

The 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie reserves ancestral lands "commencing on the east bank of the Missouri river where the 46th parallel of north latitude crosses the same, thence along low-water mark down said east bank..."

Without getting into the technicalities of any Sioux Treaty land diminishment vis-a-vis the 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation sits along the west bank of the Missouri River, as does the Camp.

The Treaty does not define reserved Sioux Treaty territory as to the west bank, or the low-water mark down said west bank, of the Missouri River.

 Missouri River, at Sacred Stone Camp, on Tuesday, August 30 (photo by Gabe Galanda)

Missouri River, at Sacred Stone Camp, on Tuesday, August 30 (photo by Gabe Galanda)

The Treaty defines Sioux Treaty territory as running across the Missouri River, from west bank to east bank---including the low-water mark down said east bank---i.e., including the lands astride the Missouri River.

How then can there not be a legitimate claim to protect the water that runs through reserved ancestral Sioux Treaty territory---water that has demarcated the eastern Treaty boundary for 150 years---water that has run through Sioux lands since time immemorial?

It is my hope that the #NoDAPL narrative begins to include the fact that these are reserved ancestral Sioux Treaty lands and waters.

Gabriel S. Galanda is the managing lawyer of Galanda Broadman, PLLC, in Seattle. Gabe is a descendant of the Nomlaki and Concow Tribes, belonging to the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Northern California. He opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).