The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said he’s focused on one thing in the continuing dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Dave Archambault said it’s all about the water.
Speaking at a public forum in Bismarck Monday night, Archambault said his tribe believes protests should be prayerful and peaceful. But he said because of what he called “distractions,” the protests have strained the relationships between his tribe and the Bismarck-Mandan community.
"It's gettingh more and more difficult for me to come to Bismarck," Achambault said. "I get these eyes looking at me, cutting right through me, like I am doing something wrong. All I'm doing is staying focused on one thing -- and that's water."
Archambault said once the matter is finally settled, the pipeline workers and others will leave – but the Standing Rock Tribe will remain. And he told the audience there needs to be an understanding among all.
"Even if we disagree, it's okay," Archambault said. "You can disagree with everything that I said. That's okay. I respect you. I understand your frustrations. I'm frustrated, too. But I know we'll get through it."
The forum was sponsored by the Dakota Resource Council.