It’s critical we support Indigenous communities in protecting their land and lifeways from extractive industries; with one such call to action happening right now to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline crisscrossing Minnesota’s lakes and wetlands. If you’re new to hearing about this Indigenous rights and environmental issue, here’s what you need to know and how you can help …
The current construction of the new Line 3 oil pipeline extension corridor into Minnesota cuts through ecologically sensitive wetlands and culturally significant treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples. Enbridge is effectively presiding over the destruction of land used for water and food supplies that sustain Native American nations; like the Ojibwe, Odawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree and Saulteaux. The many prodigious wild rice lakes within Line 3’s path, for example, are a food staple for the Native communities who live off the land; Enbridge has already laid waste to several of them by draining them without permission from tribal leaders.
The environmental and cultural impact of Line 3 doesn’t stop with destroying a traditional food source, although that’s reason enough to oppose it. The ecological impact of oil pipeline spills is potentially devastating; the Enbridge system itself is responsible for two of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history — 1.7 million gallons spilt in Grand Rapids, MN in 1991 and 1 million gallons at the Kalamazoo River, MI in 2010. There’s even been a recent more minor spill in July this year at Willow River, MN.
Despite what Enbridge and pipeline enthusiasts would compel us to believe about their safety, oil pipelines are a direct threat to vital ecosystems and waterways — and it’s often Indigenous communities that are on the frontlines of this fight.
Line 3 isn’t about safe transportation of a necessary product, it’s about expansion of a dying tar sands industry. Line 3 would contribute more to climate change than Minnesota’s entire economy. Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce found our local market does not need Line 3 oil. We need to decommission the old Line 3 and justly transition to a renewable, sustainable economy. | StopLine3.org
Indigenous communities that border the Line 3 pipeline route equally and emphatically oppose its construction because of documented increases in violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking; connected to the arrival of significant numbers of male pipeline construction workers. These “man camps” or temporary settlements near tribal lands deliver a direct impact on the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirits (MMIWG2S); often with no justice for the victims and their families because the perpetrators within the man camps are outsiders (beyond tribal jurisdiction) and frequently move on from one work area to the next making them difficult to trace.
Stopping Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline is literally about protecting Indigenous lives on a physical, cultural and environmental level. It’s time we become bold and intentional with our allyship, especially if we’re non-Indigenous. Here’s what we can do to amplify Indigenous voices and stop line 3 …
- If you’re within the U.S. text PUCZGE to 50409 which will send an automatic letter to your representative on your behalf. No talking is required, but you will need to provide your name and address so that the right government official can be located
- Tweet your support/share information and get the following hashtags trending: #StopLine3Pipeline and #StopLine3
- Donate, get involved and follow the work of Stop Line 3 — they have the latest information, action points, study guides and more
- Donate, get involved and follow the campaigns of Honor The Earth
- Donate to the Stop Line 3 Bail Funds who provide financial help to those arrested on the frontlines for opposing Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion
- Sign these 4 petitions via Rice Is Life
- Follow, support and share the following people/groups/orgs on Instagram: Tara Houska (@zhaabowekwe) | Resist Line 3 (@resist_line_3) | Lakota People’s Law Project (@lakotalaw) | @welcomewaterprotectors
- If you’re local/can do so easily, support from the frontlines and/or donate water, food and shelter to those who are there already
- Divest from the following banks that fund Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline: Bank of America | Bank of Montreal | Barclays | BNP Paribas | CIBC | Citi | Crédit Agricole | Credit Suisse | Deutsche Bank | HSBC | JPMorgan Chase | Mizuho | MUFG | National Bank of Canada | RBC | Scotiabank | SMBC Group | TD | Truist Financial
- Share any and all information you can to get this movement into the national and global media to raise awareness and garner support
Right now is the time for action, please thoroughly explore what steps you can take to make a difference. Don’t let complacency obscure the lines that connect climate action, protecting Indigenous sovereignty rights and colonialism’s continued march to take control of tribal lands. Recognize this for what it is; brutality that benefits Big Oil multinationals even though they are knowingly and profoundly responsible for the environmental collapse of our only home.
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