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Tribal attorney lobbies DC lawmakers over Dakota Access pipeline

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Signs at a rally in Bismarck.
Signs are held up at a rally in front of the North Dakota state capitol during a protest of the Dakota Access pipeline on Friday.
Christopher Juhn for MPR News

Leaders on both sides of the Dakota Access Pipeline will meet for a status conference Friday. The future of the $3.8 billion project is unknown.  

The CEO of the company building the pipeline says it will absolutely finish the project as planned, with a pipeline carrying crude oil from North Dakota going across the Missouri River to just north of the Standing Rock Reservation. 

That's where thousands of American Indians from around the country are continuing to protest construction. They say they are digging in and prepared to stay until the project is called off.   

MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Tara Houska, a tribal rights attorney and the national campaigns director for Honor The Earth. She's also a member of the Ojibwe tribe in Minnesota. She just returned to the Midwest after meeting with lawmakers in Washington, D.C.