Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II asked the United Nations for help Tuesday in preventing the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built.
Archambault spoke at the 33rd session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which runs Sept. 13-30 in Geneva. Archambault told the council that oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of “our sacred places and burials.”
“Dakota Access wants to build an oil pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation’s drinking water,” Archambault said. “This pipeline threatens our communities, the river and the earth. Our nation is working to protect our waters and our sacred places for the benefit of our children not yet born.”
Archambault and other tribal leaders are in Geneva for the next two days to meet with U.N. ambassadors and take part in panel discussions about the rights of indigenous peoples—rights that Archambault said are being violated.
“Thousands have gathered peacefully in Standing Rock in solidarity against the pipeline,” Archambault said in a statement. “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.”
Archambault formally invited United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz to visit the reservation and “witness for yourself the urgent situation and threats we are facing so that you are able to make informed recommendations to the United States about how to resolve this situation in a way that respects our rights as indigenous peoples.”
"The world needs to know what is happening to the indigenous peoples of the United States," Archambault said. "This pipeline violates our treaty rights and our human rights, and it violates the U.N.'s own Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I hope the U.N. will use its influence and international platform to protect the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe."
Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network.