Video: Standing Rock Chairman Addresses UN Human Rights Commission in Switzerland

You can watch the full video below.

“Our lives and our rights are threatened by Energy Transfer Partners,” Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault told the commission. “This company has shown total disregard for our rights and our sacred sites.”

Of course, this statement stands in direct contradiction to the findings of Obama-appointed federal Judge James Boasberg. In his opinion rejecting the tribe’s arguments in favor of an injunction against the pipeline’s construction he pointed that it was the tribe, and not the pipeline company or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that had a disregard for the process.

“The Corps has documented dozens of attempts to engage Standing Rock in consultations to identify historical resources at Lake Oahe and other PCN crossings,” the judge said in his opinion. “To the reader’s relief, the Court need not repeat them here. Suffice it to say that the Tribe largely refused to engage in consultations.”

He also described an anecdote describing how the tribe would play games with Corps officials trying to engage in a dialogue about the pipeline.  “When the Corps timely arrived for the meeting,” the judge wrote, “Tribal Chairman David Archambault told them that the conclave had started earlier than planned and had already ended.”

There’s also the fact that the Standing Rock tribe didn’t object existing infrastructure – including a gas pipeline and power lines – built through this same area in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The Dakota Access Pipeline follows the Northern Border gas line built in 1982 for 40 miles through the area now disputed by the tribe. Yet back then, the tribe raised no objections to that pipeline according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline:

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“Thousands have gathered peacefully in Standing Rock in solidarity against the pipeline,” Archambault told the commission. “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.”

But that contradicts the conclusions of federal Judge Daniel Hovland who wrote last week that claims such as Archambault’s defy “common sense and reality.”

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Archambault and his allies may not like the pipeline. They may think that permitting it is bad public policy. But to claim that their rights were disregarded in the process to approve the pipeline? Or that they were otherwise mistreated?

That’s simply not accurate, as anyone who familiar with the facts of this process knows.

It’s clear that Archambault and the allies he’s made among well-connected, well-funded environmental groups are very good at pushing a media narrative. Unfortunately, much of it simply doesn’t gibe with reality.

Here’s the video:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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