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Washington tribes call for better federal consultation

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Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) confront bulldozers working on the new oil pipeline in an effort to make them stop on September 3, 2016, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Private security guards used pepper sprayed and attack dogs to attempt to repel the protesters but eventually the bulldozers and the security guards retreated. (Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — American Indian tribes in Washington state are asking President Barack Obama to overhaul the way the federal government consults with tribes on infrastructure projects.

Leaders of four tribes are meeting with federal officials in Seattle Tuesday.

The Yakama Nation, Lummi Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Spokane Tribe are supporting a plan they say will improve the consultation process, protect sacred sites and provide greater recognition of tribal rights.

The Seattle meeting is one of several scheduled throughout the country and was spurred by the federal government’s decision in September to step into the Standing Rock Sioux’s fight over the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The Obama administration invited leaders from 567 federally recognized tribes to participate the series of consultations aimed at getting tribal input on such infrastructure projects.