Pipeline protest boosts significance of annual tribal leaders summit, powwow in Bismarck
BISMARCK — An annual summit of American Indian tribal leaders and the traditional powwow that follows are expected to draw big numbers and heightened interest in Bismarck next week as protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline about 40 miles away continue.
"This is kind of unprecedented. It's a historical event," said Leander "Russ" McDonald, president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, which sponsors both events.
About a dozen tribal leaders, mainly from North Dakota and South Dakota, are expected to attend the 20th annual summit Tuesday through Thursday, and the $3.8 billion crude oil pipeline will be a hot topic of discussion.