For Immediate Release
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Addresses UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva
Archambault says Dakota Access Pipeline violates human rights
CANNON BALL, North Dakota - Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe addressed members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, today. Archambault told members of the UN commission that human rights have been violated by the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the actions of law enforcement.
“Thousands have gathered peacefully in Standing Rock in solidarity against the pipeline,” said Archambault. “And yet many water protectors have been threatened and even injured by the pipeline’s security officers. One child was bitten and injured by a guard dog. We stand in peace but have been met with violence.”
The UN Human Rights Commission heard testimony from the Tribe’s leader about the 1,168-mile pipeline that will transport more than a million gallons of Bakken oil every day through the water source of millions of people. The project, he notes, was approved without appropriate consultation with the Tribe.
“Our lives and our rights are threatened by Energy Transfer Partners,” said Archambault. “This company has shown total disregard for our rights and our sacred sites.”
On September 2, the Tribe filed a motion in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia for a halt to construction that would destroy the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s sacred sites, including graves. Included in the court filing were the locations of these sites. On the morning of September 10, before the court had made a ruling, the construction company for Dakota Access Pipeline bulldozed the sites.
While in Geneva, the Tribe will meet with individual UN ambassadors and participate in panel discussions about the rights of indigenous peoples.
“The world needs to know what is happening to the indigenous peoples of the United States,” said Archambault. “This pipeline violates our treaty rights and our human rights, and it violates the UN’s own Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I hope the UN will use its influence and international platform to protect the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”