Apology to the Minnesota Department of Commerce

A blog posted on Oct. 8 “Minnesota’s failed oversight of the Line 3 Human Trafficking Prevention Plan (continued)” incorrectly stated that the Minnesota Department of Commerce had not responded to a request for information. It had. I didn’t see it its email response because of a problem with my email program or antivirus software.

The original blog has been taken down.

The blog will be updated with Commerce’s response and reposted.

Keeping the pressure on PUC, Enbridge to address Line 3’s human trafficking risks

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, Healing Minnesota Stories ran a post critical of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approving the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline with lax oversight and accountability for the human trafficking risks the massive construction project poses. The post identified problems with how Enbridge was moving forward with its required Human Trafficking Prevention Plan.

Now, three weeks after that post, calls and emails have provided some updates, but suggest no follow up has happened. Continue reading

Ghost of Christmas Future: Pipeline company begins Keystone XL eminent domain lawsuits

The Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline has filed 90 eminent domain claims in Nebraska to make way for the project, according to a Saturday article in the Omaha World-Herald.

A Nebraska Supreme Court ruling last month gave Keystone XL the green light. TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, has filed the suits, asking the court to appoint assessors to determine the costs it must pay to landowners for an easement to build a 36-inch crude oil pipeline on their property.

This seems to be TC Energy’s equity policy: It will take indigenous lands as well as non-indigenous lands without consent.

Continue reading

Today, Sept. 30, is Orange Shirt Day, remembering Indigenous children who suffered in residential schools

If you happen to have an orange shirt in your closet, consider wearing it today (Monday, Sept. 30). Orange Shirt Day is a relatively new effort to raise awareness and remember the indigenous children who suffered in Canada’s residential school system, a system that stripped them of their languages, cultures, spiritual traditions and their very identities.

The practice is not as wide spread in the United States, which has a similar ugly history with American Indian boarding schools. Some people in the United States have followed Canada’s lead.

Continue reading

A photo essay: Gichi-gami Gathering to Stop Line 3

After a march along Gichi-gami’s shores, we stopped for a group photo.

The Gichi-gami Gathering to Stop Line 3 in Duluth today was a tremendous success. We had beautiful weather. The turnout of 700 to 1,000 people exceeded expectations. We had great speakers, a wonderful march, art, food, t-shirt printing, kids activities and more.

Skip Sandman offered prayers; Babette Sandman offered amazing harmonica riffs. Sheila Lamb did an amazing job as emcee.

Together, we were able to be together to lift each other’s spirits. On the news front, we could celebrate the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s decision Friday to deny Enbridge’s Line 3 water crossing permit until problems with Line 3’s environmental impact statement can be fixed.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are a few pictures. Enjoy. Continue reading

United Methodist Church returns Ohio church lands to the Wyandottes, and other news and events

In this blog:

  • United Methodist Church returns Ohio church lands to the Wyandotte Nation — 200 years after the federal government forced its relocation
  • Invitation to attend the “Change the Name” rally at U.S. Bank Stadium when the Washington Reds*ins play the Vikings Oct. 24
  • “Stories from our Native neighbors” event, Oct. 9, First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Fond du Lac Band member Jim Northrup’s treaty rights case
  • The Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pasqua Yaqui, and the Hopi Tribe are part of suit that blocks large copper mine in Arizona

Continue reading