Feds invite tribes to take part in infrastructure decisions

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Obama administration has invited leaders from 567 federally recognized tribes to participate in a series of consultations aimed at getting input on infrastructure projects.

The consultations were spurred by the federal government’s decision this month to step into the Standing Rock Sioux’s fight over the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The Departments of Justice, Army and Interior said the case “highlighted the need for a serious discussion” about nationwide reforms “with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.”

The meetings are scheduled from Oct. 25 through Nov. 21 in six regions of the country.

The meetings will focus on “meaningful” tribal input into infrastructure-related decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources and treaty rights. New legislation to promote those goals also will be considered.