WASHINGTON – On Friday afternoon, Indigenous warriors and water protectors blocked construction on Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline by exercising their treaty rights to perform Anishinaabe cultural practices including smudging, making tobacco ties, and praying. This action comes only days after Line 3’s final permits were approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and is part of an ongoing Indigenous-led battle on the front lines of construction.
In the words of Anishinaabe Warriors at the action, “We need people to have a connection with this Earth so deep that nothing can shake them. Take a stand.” They went on to raise the call for solidarity on the frontlines, “Your ancestors are here too. Take a moment to speak to her, our Mother Earth is crying out for the Warriors to rise again. Strong hearts to the front.”
Line 3 violates the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples by endangering critical natural resources in the 1854, 1855, and 1867 treaty areas, where the Ojibwe have the right to hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants, harvest wild rice, and preserve sacred sites.
The state of Minnesota does not have the consent of many tribes that will be impacted by construction and spills. Last week, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and the White Earth Band petitioned the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to pause its approval of Line 3 construction while challenges to the permits are considered by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
As one of the Indigenous leaders at the action affirmed, “We have the right to practice our treaty rights. We ask you to bear witness and protect our right to do so.”
For more information, contact one of the Indigenous organizers at 218-464-3082 or email email@example.com. Updates and photos are available on our social media. High resolution photos, issue backgrounder and interviews with movement leaders available on request.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.