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Northwest Indians Join Sioux In North Dakota To Oppose Pipeline

The proposed route of the 1,100-mile, 30-inch diameter Dakota Access Pipeline that will connect oil production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
The proposed route of the 1,100-mile, 30-inch diameter Dakota Access Pipeline that will connect oil production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.

Members of eight Washington tribes took lessons they learned last spring with them to North Dakota last week, where the Standing Rock Sioux are opposing the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Opposition to the North Dakota pipeline resonates in the Northwest. In May, Washington’s Lummi tribe successfully halted a project north of Bellingham that would have allowed construction of the world’s largest coal export terminal.

Swinomish Tribal Chairman Brian Cladoosby serves as the President of the National Congress of American Indians, the largest representative body of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“The fact that the Corps of Engineers killed a multibillion dollar project based on treaty rights really says how far we have come in the last 150 years since we signed our treaties with the US government,” Cladoosby said.

The Sioux argue the pipeline violates federal laws, threatens water quality and sacred sites. Cladoosby plans to join them in North Dakota again next week.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.