A look at what's really happening at Standing Rock

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Nov 1 (Reuters) - The head of a Native American tribe that has led months of demonstrations against the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota said on Tuesday the group would keep up its protests through the state's bitter winter.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is weighing asking protesters to move to a location with heated buildings or upgrading the infrastructure at the current protest camp on tribal land, tribal chairman David Archambault II said in a telephone interview.

Celebrities join North Dakota protests

21 PHOTOS
Celebrities hold protest for the North Dakota pipeline
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Celebrities hold protest for the North Dakota pipeline
Actor Shailene Woodley stands with Native Americans on stage during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Actor Susan Sarandon (R) smiles during an interview with author Greg Palast (C) and Mark Ruffalo (L) backstage at a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Shailene Woodley closes her eyes as rain falls during a prayer circle at a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actors Frances Fisher, (L), Jaden Smith, and Kendrick Sampson (R) raise their hands into the air as they stand with an attendee during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actors Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, director Josh Fox, Frances Fisher and author Greg Palast pose for a photograph backstage during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
A woman stands with "No Ometeotl DAPL" drawn on her face during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Lehi Thundervoice Eagle Sanchez looks up during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Susan Sarandon stands backstage at a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Mark Ruffalo speaks during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Attendees stand together during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Shailene Woodley holds hands as rain falls during a prayer circle at a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Shailene Woodley hugs a woman wearing a #NoDAPL shirt on stage during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Joann Mae Spotted Bear speaks on stage with actor Frances Fisher during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
An attendee carries a flag in support of Native Americans during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
People attend a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Mark Ruffalo (L) speaks backstage with Nalleli Cobo, 15, during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Ed Begley Jr. attends a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actor Frances Fisher speaks on stage during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Actors Frances Fisher and Kendrick Sampson hug during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
Attendees raise their fists into the air during a climate change rally in solidarity with protests of the pipeline in North Dakota at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
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The effort to ensure the continuation of protests comes after demonstrators clashed last week with police and as North Dakota allocated millions more in funds to support law enforcement at the pipeline.

"We have to make sure we are proactive and find a way to ensure their (protesters') safety," Archambault said, noting the state's "extreme temperatures" in winter.

Many are staying in tents of traditional tepees at a camp near the construction site and would require improved accommodation during winter, Archambault said.

"There are a lot of people who are committed to this who will stay (through the winter)," he added.

Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for Dakota Access, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, being built by a group of companies led by Energy Transfer Partners LP, would offer the fastest and most direct route to bring Bakken shale oil from North Dakota to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

The project has faced months of protest from the tribe, as well as environmental activists, who say it threatens local water supplies and sacred tribal sites.

Supporters say the pipeline would be safer and more cost-effective than transporting the oil by road or rail.

Photos of the pipeline protests

17 PHOTOS
North Dakota pipeline protests
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North Dakota pipeline protests
Protesters stand on heavy machinery after halting work on the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
A modified highway sign reads 'No Pipeline' near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to cross the nearby Missouri River, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Native Americans ride with raised fists to a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline slated to cross the nearby Missouri River, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
People on horses are seen at the encampment September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Phil Little Thunder Sr attends an evening gathering at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Boys enjoy a later afternoon horseback ride at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The Missouri River is seen beyond an encampment September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
People sign a teepee with words of support for protestors at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Nantinki Young of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, the head cook supervising all the kitchens poses for a photograph at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Evan Butcher of the Chippewa Tribe plays basketball with younger boys September 4, 2016 at the encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by LaDonna Allard, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, second from right, participates in an oil pipeline protest, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 in Morton County, N.D. North Dakota authorities plan to pursue charges against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for spray-painting construction equipment at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said Tuesday that the charges would be for trespassing and vandalism. (LaDonna Allard via AP)
Jon Don Ilone Reed, an Army veteran and member of South Dakota's Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, poses for a photo at an oil pipeline protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Reed said he fought in Iraq and is now fighting "fighting for our children and our water." (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
In this Aug. 26, 2016, photo, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II poses for a photo near Cannon Ball., N.D., on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation overlooking an encampment where Native Americans from across North America have gathered to join his tribe's growing protest against a $3.8 billion four-state oil pipeline. About 30 people, including Archambault himself, have been arrested in recent weeks for interfering with construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
Joye Braun, an organizer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline opposition, poses for a photo at a protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Braun has been at the protest site since April and has vowed to remain until the project is killed. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
Wambli Johnson poses for photo at an oil pipeline protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The 11-year-old donated $150 to protest organizers that she earned by selling homemade laundry soap at northern Arizona's Black Mesa, on the Navajo Nation. ( AP Photo/James MacPherson)
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Last week, protesters and law enforcement clashed as police swept demonstrators from a separate camp on private property and more than 140 protesters were arrested.

On Monday, a protester was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after authorities said she shot at police during the incident.

Archambault said the companies building the pipeline had "backed the tribe into a corner," but he condemned the shooting incident.

"The tribe has maintained that this be a peaceful and prayerful demonstration," he said.

Law enforcement agencies from eight states, including South Dakota, Minnesota and Ohio, have assisted the Morton County Sheriff's Department in handling the protesters, according to a department spokeswoman.

On Tuesday, North Dakota's Emergency Commission approved an additional $4 million loan to support law enforcement at the pipeline.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Peter Cooney)

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