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Swinomish Tribal Chairman Reacts To Arrests Of Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors

James MacPherson
AP Photo
A Dakota Access pipeline protester defies law enforcement officers who are trying to force them from a camp on private land in the path of pipeline construction, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016

In North Dakota, tension over the 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline is escalating. Police and National Guard troops arrested more than 140 protesters near a construction site Thursday.

Law officers ousted the protesters in an operation that involved the use of shotgun beanbag rounds and pepper spray. The protesters had set up camp last weekend on the land owned by the pipeline developer to try to block the project.

Activists have argued that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe was never fully consulted on the project, and that it threatens the reservation’s water supply. The Standing Rock Sioux have been joined in their protests by Indian nations from across the country — including tribes from the Northwest.

88-5’s Ariel Van Cleave spoke with Swinomish Tribal Chairman Brian Cladoosby for his reaction to what’s happening in North Dakota. He also serves as president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.