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.