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Environment

Fight Against Dakota Access Pipeline Has Northwest Connections

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais
/
AP Photo / file
Seattle Attorney Jan Hasselman, representing Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, speaks to members of the media outside U.S. District Court in Washington, DC., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016.

Though the Dakota Access Pipeline is more than a thousand miles away, many voices in the fight against it are local — and not just the protestors in the streets.    

A Seattle lawyer is representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: Jan Hasselman, with Earth Justice says they will push back against President Trump’s order to push the pipeline through.  

“All the memo does is essentially say that the president likes pipelines and wants to get the process moving forward. It doesn’t change the underlying law, which is that this project cannot go forward without a full and fair process and consideration of the tribes treaty rights.”   

Earthjustice will sue if necessary to make sure that happens. They argue the federal government has a trust obligation to consult the tribes before using their land.

Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the local Swinomish Tribe is also president of the National Congress of American Indians. He says they’re proudly standing with Standing Rock.  

“We cannot afford to go back to the days when tribal nations’ voices were ignored and left with only the burdens and harms of development without our consent,” Cladoosby said.  

They’re urging the Army Corps of Engineers to review its legal responsibilities to Indian tribes and continue the full environmental review process that’s already underway.

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