In mid-September it came to light that some members of the Cheyenne River Tribal Council met as private citizens with TC Energy earlier in the year. There was a protest in Eagle Butte on September 18 and five arrests were made. Indigenous Rising Media carried live footage of the protest.
The Cheyenne River Grass Roots Collective (CRSTGRC) reported that four people were released after being detained in Eagle Butte as a result of the protest; Jasilyn Charger, Joseph White Eyes, TaSina Smith and Oscar High Elk. An additional person, Alex Dotson, was detailed in Selby, SD and released later that day.
In a video posted on the organization’s Facebook page a spokesperson identified Dotson as an ally, saying, “He wasn’t supposed to get arrested. What allies do, they stand up for the people. They stand up for indigenous folks.” The unidentified spokesperson went on, “When it comes to these types of actions and these types of events, we always got to stick together. We never leave anyone behind.”
Two of the seven people said to have met with TC Energy have confirmed their involvement and addressed accusations via public posts related to the report, Jim Pearman and Mark James Knight, both of District 4. The West River Eagle is seeking comment and will continue to report on this story.