Law enforcement clears Oceti Sakowin camp of remaining protesters

Feb 24, 2017

Oceti Sakowin camp view.
Credit ND Joint Information Center

State officials say the Oceti Sakowin protest camp onn the Cannonball River south of Mandan has finally been cleared.

The deadline for protesters to leave the camp was Wednesday at 2 pm – but a number of people stayed. Thursday morning, law enforcement officers told those remaining to disperse and head south to avoid arrest. Some complied – but 46 were arrested.

“We’re feel very good about the fact that now we can have full access to continue the clean-up work we’ve been initiating the last couple of weeks,”  said Gov. Doug Burgum in an interview with Prairie Public.

The camp is on Corps of Engineers land. A Florida contractor will clean up the area, and the cost could be more than $1 million. The Corps will pay for the clean-up.

Burgum said contractors still have to clear abandoned cars, structures and garbage from that area.

“We’ve taken over 240 roll-off size construction dumpster loads out of there already, over the past few weeks," Burgum said. "And I expect they’re going to have to take at least that many or more again just to get the material off. And there will have to be soil remediation and clean-up. So there’s a lot of work to do in the weeks ahead.”