#NoDAPL movement takes center stage at summit in North Dakota

Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe speaks at the United Tribes Technical College's 20th annual Tribal Leaders Summit in Bismarck, North Dakota, on September 6, 2016. Photo courtesy United Tribes News

The United Tribes Technical College is hosting the 20th annual Tribal Leaders Summit in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The event kicked off on Tuesday with a slew of speeches from key tribal leaders. Included was Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who shared his people's struggle against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline.

Archambault explained how the tribe sought "meaningful consultation" when it first learned about the project about two years ago. But he said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to listen to the tribe's concerns.

"There was no indication that Standing Rock even existed, yet the pipeline was coming 500 feet from our boundary," Archambault said at the gathering. "If anything was to happen, we said it's going to impact us first."

"So we should have a say in it," Archambault added. "We should be the ones that are determining whether or not this project is viable."


Indianz.Com SoundCloud: 20th Annual Tribal Leaders Summit September 6 2016 [Audio courtesy United Tribes Technical College]

Based on the lack of consultation, the tribe filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps in federal court in Washington, D.C. A major decision is expected by Friday that could determine whether the 1,172-mile pipeline moves forward.

Beyond the legal front, Archambault credited Native youth with helping bring the #NoDAPL message to the mainstream. The ReZpect Our Water group [Facebook | Instagram | Twitter] held a series of relay runs -- including a 2,000-mile journey to D.C. -- this summer to raise awareness about the pipeline.

"It was the youth who really took the leadership in this," Archambault noted. "They were the ones that had a strong voice, a powerful voice."

"When the kids came back from D.C., that's when everything started rolling," he said.

Due to the youth's work, within those first few weeks of August, the #NoDAPL encampment near Cannon Ball grew to the thousands that are still seen today. Their activism -- which included a major social media campaign that has attracted celebrity interest -- also was largely responsible for the huge turnout at a rally in D.C. on August 24.

In addition to Archambault, two young Standing Rock citizens -- Alice Brown Otter, 12, who participated in the ReZpect Our Water runs, and Gracey Claymore -- shared their experiences with the movement. So did Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network and a key #NoDAPL figure, and Ricardo Cate', the cartoonist behind Without Reservations who left his home in New Mexico last month to join the encampment.

About 225 people were in attendance at the SRST report on the pipeline actions and Protectors/Spirit camps, led by...

Posted by United Tribes Technical College on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"After we defeat the Dakota Access Pipeline -- because I know that we will -- my biggest prayer ... is that the youth and the people that are here at the camp are going to take all this positive energy and all the prayer and all the experiences that we've shared here, we are going to take that back into our communities and we are going to begin to heal again," Claymore, 19, said at the summit.

Thanks to United Tribes Technical College and United Tribes News, audio from the main ceremony on Tuesday can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud. A bonus comes in the form of emcee Tony Bobtail Bear Sr., a Standing Rock Sioux citizen who provided similar duties when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama came to the reservation in June 2014.

Claymore, incidentally, was among a group of young tribal members who met with the Obamas during their historic visit and the president has repeatedly cited the youth from the reservation as an inspiration. But she said the administration's response, or lack thereof, to the #NoDAPL movement was disappointing.

"I'm truly disappointed in him because he didn't keep his promises to us," Claymore said of the president. "He promised the youth that he would stand with us. He cried with us and he told us how important we were to him. He told us he would stand behind Indian Country no matter what it took."

"And like Alice said, Where is he now?" Claymore said.

The summit runs through Thursday. It will be followed by the 40th annual International Powwow, which runs from Friday through Sunday. The two events are expected to attract an estimated 20,000 people to Bismarck.

Relevant Documents:
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order | Declaration of Tim Mentz, Sr. | Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Response | Dakota Access Response

Join the Conversation
Related Stories
Lakota Country Times: School going strong at #NoDAPL campsite (9/7)
Mark Charles: The #NoDAPL struggle continues after hearing in DC (9/7)
Dave Archambault II: The Dakota Access Pipeline musn't be built (9/7)
Eastern Cherokees contribute $50K to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (9/7)
Jill Stein of Green Party faces charges for standing with #NoDAPL (9/7)
Dave Archambault: Dakota Access Pipeline destroys sacred sites (9/7)
Steven Newcomb: Vicious dogs unleashed on #NoDAPL resisters (9/7)
Mike Myers: Historic ties between the Haudenosaunee and Sioux (9/7)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe disappointed with ruling in #NoDAPL case (9/6)
Dakota Access fires back at tribes ahead of hearing in federal court (9/6)
Lakota Country Times: Tribes still united at #NoDAPL encampment (9/6)
Native Sun News: Death highlights dangers of Dakota Access work (9/6)
Hearing ordered after Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reports destruction (9/5)
Army Corps backs restraining order against Dakota Access Pipeline (9/5)
Quinault Nation sends Grandfather Canoe to #NoDAPL encampment (9/5)
Sarah Sunshine Manning: Dogs attack peaceful #NoDAPL resisters (9/5)
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard: We have no choice but to defend water (9/5)
Jacqueline Keeler: #NoDAPL resistance is part of something bigger (9/5)
Steve Russell: Federal Indian law and the Dakota Access Pipeline (9/5)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reports cultural finds near pipeline path (9/2)
Mark Trahant: #NoDAPL poses test for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine (9/2)
Native Sun News: Cartoonist brings humor to #NoDAPL movement (9/2)
Tribal activists cheer demise of controversial pipeline in Minnesota (9/2)
United Nations Forum backs Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on #NoDAPL (9/1)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe joins #NoDAPL efforts (9/1)
Jim Kent: The real truth about the #NoDAPL resistance movement (9/1)
Mark Trahant: Candidate shows support for #NoDAPL movement (9/1)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL roadblock remains a major issue (8/31)
Brandon Ecoffey: #NoDAPL resistance is the start of a movement (8/31)
Dave Archambault: Struggle unfolds on Standing Rock Sioux land (8/31)
Terri Miles: Indian Country unites to stare down the black snake (8/31)
Joel Heitkamp: Officials in North Dakota need a lesson in respect (8/31)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe confirms lack of easement for pipeline (8/30)
Supplies needed for #NoDAPL Defenders of Sacred Water School (8/30)
Lakota Country Times: Students witness history at pipeline camp (8/30)
Vi Waln: Media distorts peaceful nature of sacred #NoDAPL camp (8/30)
Mike Myers: Historic ties between the Haudenosaunee and Sioux (8/30)
Mark Anthony Rolo: Tribes remain at mercy of bad federal policies (8/30)
Defenders of the Water School opens at pipeline resistance camp (8/29)
Lakota Country Times: Resisters dispute emergency declaration (8/29)
Dave Archambault: Stopping the desecration of our Mother Earth (8/29)
Mark Trahant: State erects roadblock at peaceful #NoDAPL camp (8/29)
Latoya Lonelodge: Witnessing history at Camp of Sacred Stones (8/29)
Jon Eagle: Land remains sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (8/29)
Albert Bender: Tribes join together at Camp of the Sacred Stones (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: Law of Christendom at play in #NoDAPL battle (8/29)
Arvol Looking Horse: Saving our Earth from energy development (8/29)
Tribal Tribune: Unity at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's #NoDAPL camp (8/26)
Winona LaDuke: Corporate interests come to destroy our mother (8/26)
Sarah Sunshine Manning: #NoDAPL campaign awakens our people (8/26)
Dakota Access Pipeline lacks key approval to build by reservation (8/26)
Lummi Nation sends totem pole to #NoDAPL camp in North Dakota (8/26)
Dave Archambault: Why the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is fighting (8/25)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe chair dispels rumors about camp site (8/25)
Sen. Bernie Sanders joining opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline (8/25)
Native Sun News: Thousands join #NoDAPL resistance movement (8/25)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sees strong support at pipeline hearing (8/24)
Kayla DeVault: Navajo Nation must take a stand on Dakota Access (8/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe seeks prayers ahead of pipeline hearing (8/23)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe joins fight against pipeline (8/23)
Brandon Ecoffey: The Horse Nations prepare for battle over pipeline (8/23)
Simon Moya-Smith: Hillary Clinton remains silent amid pipeline feud (8/23)
Steven Newcomb: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe challenges domination (8/23)
Sheriff mistook sacred pipes for pipe bombs at pipeline protest site (8/23)
Tribes prepare for critical hearing in Dakota Access Pipeline lawsuit (8/22)
Mark Trahant: Pipeline fight highlights power of political organizing (8/22)
Lakota Country Times: Tribes unite to stop Dakota Access Pipeline (8/22)
Vi Waln: Our water system is being threatened by energy pipelines (8/22)
Winona LaDuke: Bigger problems ahead for Dakota Access Pipeline (8/22)
Dallas Goldtooth: Tribes shut out of Dakota Access Pipeline process (8/22)
Native Sun News: Resistance grows against Dakota Access Pipeline (08/18)
Harold Frazier: Obama must put a stop to Dakota Access Pipeline (08/15)
Tribes and Native youth join forces in campaign to stop oil pipeline (08/11)
Democrats embrace tribal sovereignty in platform for convention (07/08)
Dakota Access Pipeline to go underneath tribal burial site in Iowa (06/22)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe battles oil pipeline (06/08)
Iowa board approves energy pipeline work amid tribal objections (06/07)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (05/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe seeks halt to construction of pipeline (05/12)
Native Sun News: Youth run 500 miles to protest new oil pipeline (05/11)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aims to stop pipeline (04/27)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Army Corps to discuss oil pipeline (04/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes gaining traction in war against pipelines (04/20)
Brandon Ecoffey: Tribes continue battle against energy pipelines (04/19)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sets up sacred camp to oppose pipeline (04/15)
Native Sun News: Tribes organize against Dakota Access Pipeline (04/13)
Native Sun News: Tribes organize against Dakota Access Pipeline (4/13)
Iowa Tribe joins fight against oil pipeline on aboriginal territory (3/24)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe battles pipeline plan (3/14)
Native Sun News: Tribes fight another pipeline through Great Plains (07/07)
Meskwaki Tribe opposes oil pipeline through aboriginal territory (03/17)