Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II called on the United Nations on Tuesday to halt construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline through tribal treaty territory and formally invited United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz to visit the reservation.
“I am here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials,” he told the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva on September 20. “Dakota Access 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 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.”
Speaking at the 33rd Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which runs from September 13 through 30, Archambault outlined the ways in which the pipeline and the treatment of water protectors by the company’s employees had violated the protectors’ human rights.
“Thousands have gathered peacefully in Standing Rock in solidarity against the pipeline,” he said in a statement from the tribe afterward. “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.”