BISMARCK, N.D. — The Latest on the defeat of Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault in his bid for re-election (all times local):
American Indian activist Chase Iron Eyes says new leadership for the Standing Rock Sioux might bolster efforts to repair relations with county, state and federal officials that were strained during tribally led protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Dave Archambault, the tribe’s chairman and the face of the protests, lost his bid for re-election on Wednesday.
Iron Eyes is a Standing Rock member who at times clashed with Archambault over protest tactics. But he says he and Archambault shared the same goal and that Archambault represented the tribe well.
John Floberg has been an Episcopal minister on the reservation for 26 years. He doesn’t think the handling of the protests was the main issue in the election. He says incoming Chairman Mike Faith has long been a respected leader on the reservation.
The American Indian leader who spearheaded opposition to the four-state Dakota Access pipeline has been ousted as Standing Rock Sioux chairman.
The unofficial vote count in Wednesday’s tribal election shows that Dave Archambault got 37 percent of the vote and Mike Faith got 63 percent. Archambault conceded defeat in a statement Thursday, saying he’ll “continue to advocate for the issues facing our community.”
The tribe opposed the pipeline over fears it would harm cultural sites and the tribe’s Missouri River water supply. Protests failed to stop it, though the tribe is still fighting it in court.
Archambault’s call earlier this year for large-scale protest camps to disband upset some tribal members.
Faith says he’s not sure how big of an issue that was in the campaign. He says the reservation has numerous other problems.