The Northern Plains Indian Law Center hosted a Distinguished Indian Law Speaker panel April 18, in the Baker Courtroom at the UND School of Law.
The panel discussion titled “Resistance, Resilience & Reconciliation: Indigenous Environmental Justice” featured speakers are Dave Archambault, Standing Rock Tribal Chair; Dean DePountis, Standing Rock attorney; and Scott Davis, North Dakota Indian Affairs Commissioner.
Panel Discussion Video Presentations:
Panel Participant Biographies:
Dave Archambault II
Dave Archambault II is the 45th Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The Tribe’s top elected official, Chairman Archambault strives to improve tribal governance and the lives of Standing Rock’s members. While leading the struggle against the Dakota Access pipeline, Chairman Archambault emerged as a global leader for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The Chairman promotes peace, respect, tribal sovereignty, and champions efforts to protect tribal treaty lands and natural resources.
In 2014, the Tribe hosted President Obama and the First Lady during their historic visit to the Standing Rock Reservation. The President, First Lady, and Chairman met with Standing Rock youth, who discussed the challenges of growing up on the reservation and their aspirations for the future. Chairman Archambault sits on the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Native American Employment and Training Council. Additionally, the Chairman serves on the United States Sentencing Commission’s Tribal Issues Advisory Group.
Prior to serving as Chairman, Dave Archambault II directed a project that focused on workforce development in Indian Country for the United Tribes Technical College. He also served as Chairman of Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative Board of Directors and Chairman of the Sitting Bull College Board.
Chairman Archambault attended Sitting Bull College, where he obtained an Associate of Arts in Business Administration. The Chairman obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from North Dakota State University and a Master’s Degree in Management from the University of Mary.
Scott J. Davis
Scott J. Davis was appointed Executive Director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission in April 2009 by Gov. John Hoeven. Serving at a cabinet level between North Dakota’s state and tribal governments to address issues regarding education systems, court systems, economic development, social services, gaming, oil-energy, law enforcement, transportation, healthcare systems, veterans and youth.
Davis holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Haskell Indian Nations University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Masters of Management Degree from the University of Mary, Certificate in Principles & Techniques of Fundraising at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Davis is also a graduate of the Bush Foundation Native Nations Rebuilders Program and Executive Education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
He is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Davis currently is in his first term on the Mandan City Commission.
Constantinos (Dean) DePountis
Constantinos (Dean) DePountis joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Legal Department in 2011 and serves as General Counsel, managing the legal affairs of the Tribe. He advises the Chairman, Tribal Council, and the Tribe’s programs, departments, and entities. Mr. DePountis has represented Standing Rock, at the trial and appellate level, in tribal, state, and federal courts. He advocates the Tribe’s interests during negotiations with corporations, other tribes, and state and federal agencies. Mr. DePountis is also responsible for contract review, code revision, and supervising outside counsel.
Professional highlights include handling significant Indian Child Welfare Act litigation, managing refinance of the Tribe’s cellular communications company, facilitating the Tribe’s membership in a tribally owned power authority, and navigating the Tribe’s opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.
Prior to working with Standing Rock, Mr. DePountis was a Risk Consultant in the engineering department of a major insurance company. Before that, he served in the United States Naval Nuclear Power program.
Mr. DePountis obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University Of North Dakota School Of Law and his Bachelor of Science from New School University.