United Tribes Technical College Summit to Host Pipeline Discussion

Aug 29th, 2016 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

oil-pipelineEfforts to challenge construction of a section of an oil pipeline to protect the water resources of the Missouri River and Lake Oahe are on the agenda for discussion during the United Tribes Tribal Leader’s Summit. The 20th annual gathering of tribal leaders from the Great Plains region and around the country is scheduled for September 6-8 in Bismarck and is sponsored by United Tribes Technical College (UTTC).

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II and members of the Standing Rock tribal council will host a briefing and discussion about issues surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline from 6:15 to 8:15 pm. on Tuesday, September 6 in the Bismarck Event Center. An injunction filed by the tribe has halted construction on the pipeline project. Hundreds of Standing Rock tribal members have been joined by many tribal and non-tribal supporters at an encampment, called the Sacred Stone Camp, near where the pipeline would cross the Missouri River.

“United Tribes Technical College stands in solidarity with the peaceful demonstrations and leadership that are founded in prayer,” says Leander “Russ” McDonald, UTTC president. “Our mission as an educational community within the city of Bismarck is to help our students recognize the importance of tribal sovereignty and leadership. We have an historic learning opportunity taking place right before us.”

Discussions at the Tribal Leader’s Summit will result in the formation and adoption of resolutions that guide Indian policy-making in the region and throughout the country, says McDonald. “One of the main purposes of the Tribal Summit is for leaders to arrive at consensus about policies and remedies for addressing issues,” he says. “Those raised by the pipeline—such as protection of water resources for all people, preservation of cultural sites, and working fairly and equitably with tribal governments—are vitally important issues in Indian Country and throughout the nation.”

The evening pipeline discussion on September 6 hosted by Standing Rock is open to the public at no charge. The public is also invited to entertainment featuring Native comedians James and Ernie on Wednesday, September 7 at 5:30 p.m., and to the North Dakota Native American Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 8 at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

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