Skip to main content
News Release

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Archambault II to Speak at Vermont Law School May 19

Monday, May 15, 2017


​Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council Chairman Dave Archambault II will deliver the 2017 Vermont Law School Honorary Degree Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, in Oakes Hall, Room 012, on the VLS campus. In addition to the lecture, the VLS chapter of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) will recognize Archambault during a Standing Rock Sioux flag ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Both events are free and open to the public and press.

VLS raised the Standing Rock Sioux flag on May 12.

"It is an honor to have Chairman Archambault here to speak with the Vermont Law School community," said Samantha Doyle JD'19, a NALSA member. "The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline has gained national and international attention thanks to his leadership and the work of his community. Environmental justice should be accessible to everyone. Chairman Archambault has shown through peaceful resistance that his community will not be silenced or ignored, and, most importantly, he reminds us that this should be everyone's fight. We all lose if we continue to abuse our resources."

Archambault is the 45th chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He emerged as a global leader for indigenous peoples' rights while leading a struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and continues to be a voice for tribal sovereignty in championing protection of tribal treaty lands and natural resources. As the tribe's top elected official, Archambault seeks to find innovative ways to improve the governance of the tribe and the lives of its people. In 2014, he hosted the historic visit of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to the Standing Rock Reservation. The visit included a meeting with Standing Rock youth, who told of the challenges they face growing up on the reservation and their aspirations for the future. Prior to serving as chairman, Archambault worked for United Tribes Technical College, directing a project that focused on workforce development in Indian Country. He earned an associate degree from Sitting Bull College, a bachelor's degree from North Dakota State University, and a master's degree from the University of Mary.

The lecture will be live-streamed at

The VLS chapter of the Native American Law Students Association aims to raise awareness about Native American cultures and legal issues, and inform Native American communities about VLS. For more information about the chapter, visit

The 42nd Commencement Ceremonies at Vermont Law School will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, on the South Royalton Village Green. In addition to Archambault, VLS will honor National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) General Counsel Lois J. Schiffer, the commencement speaker, and Vermont Supreme Court Justice John A. Dooley. For more information about commencement activities, visit


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation's largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; three Master's Degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, and Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, and Center for Applied Human Rights. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.​