Monday (9/16) the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians will meet in Coeur d’Alene for their annual convention. Representatives from more than 50 tribes around the region including California, Nevada and Alaska will come together to discuss a variety of tribal business.
At their last meeting the Affiliated Tribes came out against coal exports but said they would work with the federal agencies on the environmental review of the three proposed terminals in the Northwest. Crude oil from North Dakota is already being refined in Washington. The trains and ships carrying the fossil fuels travel through some tribal lands and treaty fishing areas. Debra Lekanof is the governmental affairs liaison for the Swinomish Tribe in Washington.
Lekanof: “The new industry of coal and crude oil transportation threatens treaty rights. It threatens the health of tribal members. It also impacts the quality of life for all people who call the Northwest home.”
But not all tribes oppose coal exports. The Crow Nation recently signed a deal with Cloud Peak Energy to mine up to 1.4 billion tons of coal on their reservation in Montana.
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