Published September 28, 2016
WASHINGTON – The final White House Tribal Nations Conference of President Obama’s administration focused on the past eight years of accomplishments in Indian Country. While tribal leaders acknowledge those accomplishments, they had the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fight to stop the Dakota Access pipeline on their minds. Sidebar conversations went to Standing Rock.
After a brief reception to conclude Monday’s activities inside, tribal leaders took their “Stand of Standing Rock” outside of the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium onto the sidewalk on Constitution Avenue. Several non-Native supporters joined the American Indians and Alaska Native leaders.
Dallas Goldtooth, from 1491’s and an organizer of the Indigenous Environmental Network emceed the news conference. Among the speakers were: Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, Oglala Sioux Tribal Robert Yellowbird Steele and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Fraizer.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II thanked the supporters who have shown unprecedented solidarity throughout Indian Country during the several weeks.
“We see the power of unity and the power of prayer,” said Archambault. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for standing with us.”
The National Congress of American Indians, the oldest national American Indian organization, passed a resolution to support Standing Rock’s fight to stop the pipeline.
“They are awakening a sleeping giant. The Army Corps of Engineers needs to deny this permit.” stated Brian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians, who also serves as chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. “We as tribal leaders will keep standing with Standing Rock.”
Tribal leaders wore red sashes with white letters with the message “protector” on them signifying protectors of water and protectors of land.
Children held up signs and banners.
Native News Online photographs by Levi Rickert
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This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.