More questions about donations following the end of Sacred Stone Camp

in Freshest News/TDH Exclusive by

People are beginning to wonder what happened to all the money donated to Sacred Stone Camp

  • A Go Fund Me in LaDonna Allard’s name for Sacred Stone that raised $3.1 miilion

  • According to the State of North Dakota Allard registered Sacred Stone Camp as a corporation

  • An overwhelming amount of support made it impossible to keep track of what was actually donated

Now, in the days after the remaining water protectors were forced to leave Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota, which also left many questions about the donation money that was received by LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard for the camp.

It is not the first time people have had questions about donations raised for the water protectors. Previously we witnessed a huge backlash when the Standing Rock Sioux tribal council announced $3.1 million of the donated money would go toward the tribe’s standing debts.

Sacred Stone Camp Raises $3,127,000

Sacred Stone Camp began the stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline in April of 2015. Shortly after the camp started, Allard put together a Go Fund Me for the camp. Over the last ten months, the campaign has raised $3,127,000, with money still being donated every day, despite Sacred Stone no longer housing water protectors. Allard is the beneficiary on the campaign and Go Fund Me makes it quite clear that the money will be paid directly to the beneficiary.

Rumors have claimed that Allard has at least two other fundraising campaigns totaling as much as $8 million in donations. We were not able to confirm that any other crowd funding source, other than the primary Go Fund Me, was connected to Allard.

With donations coming in all forms, including money being sent in or dropped off, supplies being donated, and too many crowd funding campaigns to even try to keep track of, much like the Standing Rock Sioux donations, it impossible to know how much money was donated to Sacred Stone.

Allard has ignored requests to release records of the transactions made with the known $3.1 million that was donated.

Sacred Stone is Registered as a Corporation

There are claims that the Sacred Stone Camp registered as a 501 (c) (3), but Allard has never provided any documentation backing this claim. There are reportedly four positions who received pay at Sacred Stone, a bookkeeper, a CPA, a “youth media and media liaison.”

We were not able to find any proof of Sacred Stone Camp’s 501 (c) (3), but we did find something a bit odd. According to public record, on December 21, 2016, Allard filed Sacred Stone Camp as a corporation. So why is this a bit suspect?

A nonprofit filing means that no individual is allowed to profit from any additional money left over at the end of the fiscal year after all expenses are covered.

Since Allard filed Sacred Stone as a corporation, at the end of a fiscal year, if Sacred Stone has any dividends or additional leftover profits after all expenses have been taken care of, it can be distributed to shareholders as a profit.

The Freshet Collective

Another crowdfunding campaign on FundRazr is still receiving money and at this time has raised $2,986,746 over 29 weeks. The fund was started by a group named “The Freshet Collective” out of Minneapolis. Links to this campaign, along with several others, can be found on the official Sacred Stone website’s donation page.

The donation page on the Sacred Stone website states that you can “send money to the camps in various ways, as a check, through PayPal, or through our online fundraisers,” which once again, makes tracking the exact amount donated borderline impossible without Allard’s cooperation.

While we cannot be sure that Allard has access to any of these other funds, we can be sure that the Go Fund Me with over $3.1 million is in her name, which is the primary campaign in question. Due to Allard’s lack of transparency, at best we can only get a rough idea of where the $3.1 million was spent.

Housing

Without a shadow of a doubt, the largest expense was yurts and tipis for water protectors to live in through the winter. An area of Sacred Stone was turned into yurt village, with roughly twenty yurts in the area. One person claiming to help with inventory at Sacred Stone Camp stated that Allard supposedly purchased 40 yurts, 40 tipis, 30 huts, 20 lodges, and 10 tiny houses.

Drone footage from March 2, 2017, can you give you a better idea of the size of the area. It should be noted that many of the structures in the area had already been taken down at the time of this video, but it is a good way to gauge the amount of space at the location.

Yurts

Inside Sacred Stone was the home of “Yurt Village.” Yurts were a preferred living space throughout the harsh winter months, wit the majority coming from a Canadian company, Groovy Yurts.

From pictures of the yurts from Johnny Dangers, it appears that the majority of the yurts were one of three yurts from Groovy Yurts website’s selection.

The three different style of yurts ranged from $8,300 to $13,100. However, Groovy Yurts announced that they gave Sacred Stone a “massive discount.” TDH reached out to Groovy Yurts in an attempt to learn exactly what massive discount means, but nobody was available for comment.

If Allard bought 40 yurts from Groovy Yurts at a full price of $13,300, which she did not, that would bring the total cost to $532,000.

Tipis

The average pricing for a tipi canvas ranges from $400 to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on if there are patterns, customized, and so forth.

Since we were not able to find the exact manufacturer of the tipis at Sacred Stone, we used Crazy Crow Trading Post as a price comparison. Their most expensive canvas costs $915.00.

However, when building tipis, you also need poles, which can get quite pricey. While Sacred Stone had the majority of their poles donated, for argument’s sake we will include the full cost as well, which is $330 per tipi.

With 40 tipis bought by Allard, assuming none were donated and no discounts were given, the cost for tipis comes to $49,800. When we add that total with the yurts we are now at $581,800, which is just a dent in the $3.2 million donated to the Go Fund Me in Allard’s name.

Tiny Houses and Other Structures

Tiny houses are a growing trend that can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $40,000, depending on how extravagant you want to be. Just to be safe, we placed the tiny houses at Sacred Stone at $10,000 a piece. That would make the total for tiny houses $100,000, bringing our total at this point to $681,800.

Without Allard releasing any of her records, we are not able to be sure of the cost, company, or materials that went into the lodges and huts at Sacred Stone. What we can be sure of is that there was roughly $2.4 million left after purchasing the tipis, yurts, and tiny houses. It is rather hard to believe that even half of that amount would go towards the construction of 30 huts and 20 lodges.

Car Repairs

On January 4, 2017, Allard stated that 44 cars had been repaired with some of the money at an informational meeting at Standing Rock Tribal Headquarters. Allard did not state how much money was spent on the repairs.

Inside the camp, water protectors used their personal vehicles for the camp’s benefits. Two campers informed TDH that their vehicle had become a “camp truck.” After running necessary errands for Sacred Stone for months, Allard recognized the vehicle as such. When the vehicle broke down, however, Allard said she was not able to pay the $700 to for repairs.

Supplies

Obviously, supplies were needed at the camp as well. These supplies could obviously get pretty costly to keep Sacred Stone running., which is another area where things become very gray.

An image on the Sacred Stone Facebook page showed a ton of donations coming in back in September of 2016. These donations were coming from around the world.

In the post, the Sacred Stone Camp directed people to their Amazon wishlist, which back in September had already brought in $9,500 in items. The wishlist is still up to this day, and currently has just over $6,000 worth of items bought from the current list.

Amazon was not the only place where items could be bought for the camp, as Sacred Stone had a mailing address you could send donations to as well. By no means did the cost of many of the supplies fall on Allard alone.

As money began to pour into Allard’s Go Fund Me, we do know that the campaign’s goal was raised at least one time. The current goal of the Go Fund Me is $3.5 million, but a look at the Way Back Machine shows that the campaign was only asking for $2 million in December of 2016.

In an article in PR Newswire in October of 2016, a screenshot allows you to see that the goal for Sacred Stone was only at $1 million. The campaign’s goal seemed to raise over the months as money came in.

The Land

The money is only one of the problems with Sacred Stone Camp. For many months, Allard told people from around the world to come to Sacred Stone, which was located on her property.

Things got messy between Allard and the SRST tribal council as arguments over the land Sacred Stone was on increased over the last few months. Allard claimed to own the majority of the land, but documents from November of 2015 show that was not the case, and that Allard had been encouraging people to come to property that she did not even own.

 

Direct Action Training

Aside from questions about the property, many were offended that when the people at Sacred Stone were facing eviction at the hands of the BIA, Allard left for Iowa. Why would she possibly go to Iowa at such a crucial time for the camp that was located on her property? For a direct action training.

Allard left in the final hours to go to Iowa for something that had occurred at both Sacred Stone and Oceti Sakowin for months. She claims the trip was already planned and apparently could not be canceled.

Unintentionally Protecting the Corrupt

Covering the corruption that happened throughout the stand against Dakota Access has been hard for the same reason that it was able to exist. Nobody wants to believe that these people who put themselves in leadership roles could do wrong.

It is also wrong to speak against Native American leaders, no matter the wrong they are doing. Being a white journalist, I have been told we are not supposed to get involved in Native American affairs because we do not understand their ways.

Out of respect, the Natives are not supposed to go against their leaders no matter how obvious it is that something is not right. It is a bizarre idea to blindly follow the leaders, believing there is no way that they could be corrupted by their own human nature.

This has created a fortress of sorts that unintentionally protects these criminal acts. At this time there is little faith in the SRST tribal council, but for months people denied the possibility that there was anything suspect going on. Now people are realizing exactly how the tribal council sabotaged this movement from the beginning.

As the dust settles at Sacred Ground Camp, these concerns are now being raised over Allard with due cause. Allard requested people to come to her land, which got an overwhelming response. She requested financial help, which got an overwhelming response. She requested supplies, which got an overwhelming response. Now that people have asked Allard for some transparency with the money donated, and there is little response.

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