Next Sacred Sites Tour June 24; Update on Enbridge Line 3; and Trump’s Review of National Monuments

Healing Minnesota Stories Sacred Sites Tour Now Open

Our next sacred sites tour will be Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Church of St. Peter, Mendota and the tour will car pool from there.

The tour centers around the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or “meeting place of rivers.” The tour stops include Fort Snelling, the site of the Dakota internment camp following the Dakota-U.S. War, and Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional burial ground.  Tours are led by Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota/Lakota), and offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story telling. Come prepared for the weather (rain or shine), and bring your own snacks.

The suggested donation is $20-40 the day of the tour or on-line. Donations support Healing Minnesota Stories programs and events. Register names/email addresses at info@spinterfaith.org.

More items follow.

More Efforts to Stop Line 3

The Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter just provided an easy way for people to write the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and join the effort to stop Enbridge Line 3 — a proposal to expand and reroute a tar sands oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. The release includes a link with a basic letter to submit, as well as an area where you could add comments.

Right now, Enbridge — the Canadian pipeline company responsible for the biggest inland oil spill in the U.S. — wants to rebuild and expand the Line 3 pipeline along a new route and abandon their old pipeline in the ground.  This is a threat to some of Minnesota’s most pristine water and indigenous, treaty-protected rights to wild rice in the area. And it locks us into dirty tar sands oil we don’t need for decades to come.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is taking public comments on Line 3 now. Let them know: there is no need for the pipeline and it’s not in Minnesota’s best interest.

The PUC recently released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the proposed Line 3 expansion and reroute. The risk of an oil spill from the proposed pipeline into the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes’ wild rice region is huge, and the DEIS fails to show that the pipeline is needed to secure Minnesota’s energy supply. Minnesota’s oil consumption has and continues to drop, and oil prices have persistently declined.

Worse yet, the DEIS does not accurately consider the amount of oil already flowing in existing and nearly completed pipelines around Minnesota. For example, the Alberta Clipper pipeline is listed as carrying 570,000 barrels per day when it really carries nearly 800,000. That math just doesn’t add up.

Let’s also not forget some important math — the tar sands oil that Line 3 would carry through Minnesota is nearly 15 times more expensive to clean up in the case of a spill than non-tar sands oil and has a more devastating impact on waterways according to the National Academy of Sciences. These are costs Minnesota can’t afford.

The Minnesota PUC owes citizens a true accounting of the cumulative impacts on communities, tribal lands, lakes and rivers, and our climate.

Act now to send a clear message — the pipeline is not needed, and the risk is too great.

Trump’s Executive Order Threatens 20 National Monuments

We’re slow on reporting this one, but story by NPR and other media outlets last April said President Trump has set in motion a review of many national monuments.

President Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to review all designations of national monuments greater than 100,000 acres created since 1996.

That executive order … places at least 20 — and as many as 40 — monuments in the government’s sights. The areas now under review span a vast range of landscapes — from arid deserts to frozen mountain peaks, from striking craggy vistas to teeming underwater playgrounds.

Those monuments under review include: Grand Staircase-Escalante, Grand Canyon-Parashant, Giant Sequoia, Bears Ears, and Canyons of the Ancients.

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