TransCanada claims no duty to consult tribes on Keystone

TransCanada says it has no duty to consult tribes about the path of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

The route from Montana to Texas does not directly cross any reservations, according to the company. “There is no legal obligation to work with the tribes,” Lou Thompson, the TransCanada's tribal liaison, told The Washington Post.

But the pipeline passes through burial grounds, sacred sites and treaty territory. So tribes are citing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal laws as they seek a greater role in the federal process.

“The State Department has its own process talking about government-to-government talks and the sovereignty of tribes, but they don’t really believe that,” Robert Cast, the historic preservation officer for the Caddo Nation in Oklahoma, told the paper. “Our main issues are with the federal agencies. I think they abandoned the tribes.”

George Thurman, the chairman of the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma, doesn't agree that the pipeline isn't crossing tribal lands. He said the route will affect burial sites.

“All we know is that it’s coming through our tribal jurisdiction,” Thurman told the paper, citing the potential for disruption of tribal ancestors.

Get the Story:
Keystone XL pipeline raises tribal concerns (The Washington Post 9/18)

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