Nation & World

Key pipeline protester speaks at UNI

Former Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chair set to appear

Then-President Barack Obama talks June 13, 2014, with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II as they attend the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration at the Cannon Ball Powwow Grounds on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. In 2016, the tribe led a monthslong and ultimately unsuccessful protest against allowing the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline from going near its reservation and drinking water supply. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Then-President Barack Obama talks June 13, 2014, with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II as they attend the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration at the Cannon Ball Powwow Grounds on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. In 2016, the tribe led a monthslong and ultimately unsuccessful protest against allowing the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline from going near its reservation and drinking water supply. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

CEDAR FALLS — David Archambault II, former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota that unsuccessfully fought the Dakota Access underground pipeline from burrowing near the tribe’s water supply, is scheduled to speak Nov. 28 at the University of Northern Iowa.

Archambault will present “Standing with Tribes — Past, Present & Future,” at 7 p.m. in Lang Hall Auditorium.

In his address, Archambault will discuss how the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s stand against the oil industry and U.S. government to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline just upstream of their lands quickly came to represent the long and arduous struggle of indigenous peoples to protect their sovereignty and ancestral heritage.

Native Americans from throughout the country came in 2016 to a protest encampment near where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River. The tribe fought against the Army Corps of Engineers issuing a permit, but President Donald Trump reversed course from the Obama administration and ordered that the pipeline’s construction continue.

The pipeline, which begins in the Bakken fields of North Dakota, crosses 18 Iowa counties in a diagonal from northwest to southeast before ending at a distribution hub in Illinois.

At UNI, Archambault also will discuss next steps, not just for Standing Rock, but for all of Indian Country, he said are necessary to stand together against injustice.

In addition to being a key leader in the pipeline protest, Archambault has continued to be a voice for tribal sovereignty. He testified before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, led the Washington, D.C., Native Nations Rise march and published editorials in the New York Times. Archambault was named a Leading Global Thinker of 2016 by Foreign Policy magazine, was given the Native American Leadership Award by the National Congress of American Indians and received a doctorate of law from Vermont Law School.

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Archambault is one of several visiting speakers appearing at UNI in the new Aldo Leopold Distinguished Lecture Series.

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