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Pope Appears to Back Native Tribes in Dakota Pipeline Conflict
By Philip Pullella   |  Feb 17, 2017

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) Pope Francis appeared to back Native Americans seeking to halt part of the Dakota Access pipeline, saying indigenous cultures have a right to defend “their ancestral relationship to the earth.”

The Latin American pope, who has often strongly defended indigenous rights since his election in 2013, made his comments on protection of native lands to representative of tribes attending the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome on Wednesday (Feb. 15).

While he did not name the pipeline, he used strong and clear language applicable to the conflict, saying development had to be reconciled with “the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories.”

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