Parallel Narratives of Standing Rock: North Camp

Standing Rock, North Dakota (TFC) – Hu Sakpe, a French national was raised in the American Indian Movement in the 1970s. He discussed equipment used by law enforcement in a previous encounter between the water protectors and the authorities.  The encounter took place over the course of a day and a night to push them out of the encampment referred to as “North Camp”, in late October on the 27. or 28. by Sakpe.

Hu Sakpe states,“We were confronted with a full frontal military force.” 

The encampment no longer exists after the confrontation.  According to Sakpe the assault started at about 9:00 AM. Law enforcement arrived with two BEARCATs (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck). After that, rows of armed figures marched in. 80 water protectors linked arms around the camp, located near the highway. Law enforcement boxed the protectors’ camp to enclose them. Law enforcement swung at the knees of water protectors with truncheons according to Sakpe. Sakpe described the use of a sonic cannon (LRAD), rubber bullets, clubs, and large canisters of mace being wielded by law enforcement.

Sakpe becomes animated while explaining the raid on North Camp.

Sakpe becomes animated while explaining the raid on North Camp.


“We were confronted with a full frontal military force.” Sakpe stated.  Sakpe was saddened that day when an armed individual shot a Lakota horse in the head right in the middle of the road. The most violent scene Sakpe saw from the water protectors was the act of burning logs and cars in the road only to delay the assault for a few minutes.

“I didn’t see any lashing out.” Sakpe stated that the armed figures, “had masks, black, tight, no numbers or names.”

Sakpe’s timeline of events correlates with the arrest of water protectors.  The Morton County Sheriff’s Department Oct. 27 release mentions several related details, including the mention of the North Camp location, but paints a more violent picture of the actions of the protectors, including the firing of a gun at an officer and the throwing of Molotov cocktails at law enforcement.

Hu Sakpe 2Written by Spencer Wells and Justis Wilson 

Photos By: Justis Wilson