Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault says Dakota Access Pipeline conflict is about respect
On the first day of the United Tribal Technical College Leadership Summit, most of the discussion was focused on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
Besides the contamination of their water source, one of the main things the DAPL conflict has come down to for Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault is respect.
"You have to respect everything around you. You have to respect the environment, respect the water, you have to respect animals, you have to respect the air that you breathe. And if you don't, there's going to be ramifications," said Archambault.
As tribes from across North Dakota and bordering states gathered at United Tribal Technical College, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests were on people's mind.
Archambault says as a sovereign nation, the Standing Rock Sioux aren't just another stakeholder.
"It's like a check in a box. We advertised it, we're sorry you didn't hear. You're just another stakeholder like everybody else. But we're not. We're a nation, and we expect to be treated like a nation," said Archambault.
Earlier in the day, Three Affiliated Tribe Chairman Mark Fox said Native Americans need to start standing on their own.
"You can't rely on the federal government. You can't rely on the state government. That is my dream one day - that we get true sovereignty, true economic sovereignty - and we no longer rely on the outside world for our persistence," said Fox.
But Archambault sees a growing movement for Native Americans.
"If you go across this world, you're going to start seeing indigenous people standing up for what's right and what's the least impact from the corporate world. What's the least impact from the government," Archambault.
Archambault said he is not interested in finding an alternative method of transporting crude oil from the Bakken should his protest be successful, but wants Americans to look for alternative and renewable sources of energy.