Line 3 updates and other news

In this blog:

  • Protect the Water, Revoke the Permits! Stop Line 3 Rally set for Friday, Jan. 29 @ 3:30 p.m.
  • Line 3 monitor training Thursday at 6 p.m.
  • COVID-19 threatens loss of Native languages
  • This day in history: MN Senator tries to undo Dakota (Sioux) reservations

St. Paul rally Friday: Tell President Biden to Stop Line 3

As one of his first official acts, President Joe Biden rescinded a federal permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is a testament to the power of the movement against fossil fuels.

Biden could revoke Enbridge’s Line 3 permit, too. Unfortunately, Gov. Tim Walz has refused to follow the science and issued the final state permits for Line 3 despite widespread opposition. We need to let Biden know that Line 3 would be as disastrous as KXL, and demand he take action.

People will gather Friday, Jan. 29, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Kellogg Park in St. Paul near Kellogg Boulevard and Minnesota Avenue. The group will walk from there to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office. The Corps issued a Clean Water Act permit Enbridge needed to proceed with Line 3 construction.

Facebook Event Page here.

“Indigenous Water Protectors and allies are putting their bodies on the line to disrupt construction of Line 3 — let’s show them that they don’t stand alone. Family friendly, masks and social distancing expected of all attendees, and bring art/warm clothes. See you there!”

Facebook Event Page

The event is being sponsored by MN350, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Science for the People, and Minnesota Youth Climate Strikes. Please share.

Next ‘Watch the Line’ monitor training Thursday, Jan. 28

Watch the Line is a volunteer-run group that is legally monitoring and documenting the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, watching for possible environmental violations.

Line 3 runs some 350 miles across northern Minnesota so we’re always looking for more monitors. The next training session is Thursday, Jan. 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Register here.

Photo taken by Watch the Line volunteer Anne Supplee in St. Louis County, also included in a legal brief seeking an injunction against Line 3 construction.

COVID-19 threatens loss of Native languages

Writing in the New York Times, Jodi Archambault, a Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota woman and former special assistant to the president for Native American affairs under President Barack Obama, writes about the pandemic’s threat to Native languages.

North and South Dakota, home to the Lakota reservations, lead the United States for coronavirus rates per capita. We are losing more than friends and family members; we are losing the language spoken by our elders, the lifeblood of our people and the very essence of who we are. …

In 2020, there were only 230 native Dakota and Lakota speakers on the Standing Rock Reservation. … There are only a couple of thousand speakers, in total, in the United States and Canada.

As Covid-19 takes a fearsome toll on our people, it also threatens the progress we have made to save our languages. The average age of our speakers — our treasured elders who have the greatest knowledge and depth of the language — is 70. They are also those who are at most risk of dying from Covid-19.

Click on the link above for the full story.

This day in history: MN Senator tries to disband Dakota communities

A deal’s a deal, unless the deal is a treaty, then anything goes.

From the 1940s to the 1960s, the U.S. government pursued what is known as the Indian Termination Policy. Federal leaders wanted to undo treaties, dismantle reservations, and end Indigenous sovereignty over their lands.

This scheme falls in the bucket of benevolence known as “this is for your own good when it’s really not.” The U.S government has made many efforts to assimilate Indigenous peoples in the mainstream (white) society. Assimilation was part of the Termination Era’s goal, but part was simply so the federal government could stop paying for services in Indian County, Wikpedia said.

The Menominee Nation in Wisconsin was one of the first tribes terminated: June 17, 1954; the Klamath Termination Act: August 13, 1954; the Termination of Federal Supervision over Paiute Indians of Utah on Sept, 1, 1954, and the list goes on.

On Jan. 26, 1954, U.S. Sen. Edward Thye (R-Minn.) introduced legislation to terminate the Lower Sioux, Upper Sioux and Prairie Island Dakota communities. These communities had very diminished resources owing to the 1862 Dakota-U.S. War and the resulting loss of their reservation lands, exile, and return.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was supposed to advocate for the best interest of Indigenous peoples. Throughout 1953, BIA officials negotiated with the Dakota communities to convert their community lands into private property.

According to the Lower Sioux Community:

Though the Prairie Island and Lower Sioux communities drafted agreements for distribution of land to individual households and ownership, the Upper Sioux strongly opposed fee-simple title to tribal lands. …

In addition to opposition by the Dakota, regional residents objected to termination, saying that county and state expenditures might increase for the areas then within reservations, and they expressed their opposition to the committee reviewing the bill. The Minnesota Governor’s Commission on Human Rights also opposed the legislation, indicating that it would “not adequately protect the interests of the Indians…”. The bill died in committee, never reaching the Senate floor.

It’s just one more example of the U.S. government’s efforts to break treaties and force assimilation of Indigenous peoples.

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