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Standing Rock Sioux will 'try to stop the oil from flowing'

From left, Scott Davis, executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission; David Archambault, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; and Dean DePountis, the tribe’s attorney, discuss indigenous environmental justice Tuesday at UND in the context of the Dakota Access Pipeline development. Archambault said the tribe will continue to oppose the pipeline to the greatest extent that it can. Andrew Haffner / Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will continue to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline even as the date nears for expected oil transportation, Tribal Chair David Archambault said Tuesday, April 18, at the University of North Dakota.

"We're going to try to stop the oil from flowing," Archambault said. "We're going to build awareness about the investors, the lenders, the banks, the financial institutions who fund projects like this and who fund companies like Energy Transfer Partners."

Archambault spoke as part of a panel discussion on indigenous environmental justice in the UND School of Law building. The presentation, which also included remarks from Dean DePountis, the tribe's attorney, and Scott Davis, executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, was held as part of the first day of events in the annual Time Out Week, a campus series devoted to educational programming hosted by the university's Indian Studies Association.

Archambault, who rose to prominence as the pipeline issue drew thousands of protesters and international attention, said the tribe would oppose the pipeline in court while encouraging its financial backers to divest from the estimated $3.8 billion infrastructure project. Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of the entity building the pipeline, intends to begin moving oil through the line May 14, according to regulatory filings submitted last week.

Archambault said the pipeline represented a continuation of heavy tolls historically enacted against the tribal nations of the Great Plains.

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