Panhandle Post

Two tribal leaders resign from task force to protest pipeline

Published 2019-10-09T18:57:45.886Z

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Two tribal leaders have resigned from a Montana task force in protest of the state attorney general's support of a proposed oil pipeline from Canada.


Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes confirmed Wednesday Jestin Dupree of Fort Peck and Brandi King of Fort Belknap stepped down from the Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force.


State lawmakers authorized Attorney General Tim Fox to create the 11-member panel to better report and find missing Native Americans.


On Monday, Fox intervened in a lawsuit in support of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta's tar sands.


Dupree wrote in a Facebook post that his tribe opposes the pipeline and Fox's intervention is a "slap in the face."


Barnes says the resignations are disappointing and officials will ask the tribal governments to recommend replacements.


The Montana Free Press first reported the resignations.