To Protect "Our Nation’s Future," Tribal Chairman Takes Fight Against Pipeline to UN
"I am here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials," says chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe
Amid ongoing signs of solidarity with his tribe's fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to help stop the fossil fuel project in order "to protect the environment, our nation's future, our culture, and our way of life."
He addressed the 47-member body in a two-minute address on Tuesday in which he condemned the destruction of sacred sites the pipeline company has already caused as well as the future environmental and cultural threats the completed "enormous" pipeline would pose, and said and the U.S. government has "failed to protect our sovereign rights."
"I am here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials. Dakota Access Pipeline wants to build an oil pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation's drinking water. This pipeline threatens our communities, the rivers, and the earth."
"This company has knowingly destroyed sacred sites and our ancestral graves with bulldozers," he continued. "This company has also used attack dogs to harm individuals who try to protect our water and sacred sites," he said, referring to the incident earlier this month documented by Democracy Now!.
"We call upon the Human Rights Council and all member states to condemn the destruction of our sacred sites and to support our Nation's efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline and to protect the environment, our nation’s future, our culture, and our way of life."
The Indian Law Resource Center posted his address to YouTube, which you can see below:
"The world needs to know what is happening to the indigenous peoples of the United States," Archambault said in a statement, adding, "I hope the U.N. will use its influence and international platform to protect the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”