Obama seeks new relationship with tribes amid pipeline fight
The Obama administration announced two major actions on Friday to broaden dialogue between federal agencies and Indian tribes when it comes to protecting their lands and siting energy projects.
First, the Interior Department scheduled a major round of meetings to sit down with tribes around the country to discuss how energy projects affect their communities, along with other federal decisions affecting their lands and treaties.
The outreach comes as the administration struggles to deal with ongoing opposition in North Dakota over the Dakota Access oil pipeline being built near Indian lands, which the tribe in question says threatens its supply of drinking water. The administration halted the project after a federal judge ruled it could go forward. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals later took up the case and halted the project while it reviews the details of the case.