Federal court rejects Line 3 injunction, exploring Black Elk’s Catholic and Indigenous worldviews, and more

In this blog:

  • Federal court denies the request for a stay in construction on Line 3
  • Bilingual mini film festival exploring pipeline resistance
  • Webinars on Black Elk and the intersection of Indigenous and Christian worldviews

Federal court denies request for injunction against Line 3 construction

A federal judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction that would have temporarily halted construction of a harmful oil pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada to Wisconsin, through northern Minnesota, the Sierra Club reported Monday.

“Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental organization, is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — on behalf of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Honor the Earth, and the Sierra Club — arguing the federal agency illegally approved a water permit so Enbridge could construct a 330-mile pipeline carrying tar sands oil,” the news release said.

File: Winona LaDuke holds up an invoice from the Creator for Line 3’s climate damage.

Earlier this month, the Minnesota Court of Appeal rejected a similar appeal from Native nations and environmental groups to delay Enbridge Line 3 construction until legal challenges had been heard.

Together, these decisions mean that Enbridge will continue building Line 3 for months until the courts rule on the underlying legal issues, including Line 3’s damage to the climate, treaty rights, and Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, forests, and wetlands. The Minnesota Department of Commerce also is trying to reverse Line 3 permits, arguing Enbridge failed to prove Line 3 is needed.

President Biden’s administration still could intervene and stop the pipeline, just as it shut down the Keystone XL pipeline.

Indigenous leaders weighed in on the federal court’s decision.

“We’re disturbed that the court would not at least temporarily stop Enbridge from destroying the water and wetlands we have used and depended on since time immemorial. But we will not stop fighting.”

Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr., of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

“For us, water is life. Our water and wetlands provide the ability to fish, hunt and harvest wild rice. We have worked to protect the water for hundreds of years, and we will continue to do this work, despite the court’s decision.”

Mike Fairbanks, Chairman of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe

“I’m so disappointed. It’s a tragedy that the water, the native people and the future are so callously cast aside for a Canadian corporation.”

Winona LaDuke, executive director, Honor the Earth

Bilingual mini film festival exploring pipeline resistance

Film festival “Building movements in defense of life” is a celebration of World Water Day and communities that put their lives on the line to defend it. Each film will be followed by a community specific panel with fierce Indigenous and Black women leaders. A large group discussion with all the women warriors together will close out the festival.

Saturday, March 20: World premier of La Lucha Sigue (the Struggle Continues) followed by INVASION, a short film from Wet’suwet’en territory in so-called “Canada.” They are currently in the midst of a heated battle to protect their sacred river.

Sunday, March 21: “L’eau est est la vie (Water is Life): From Standing Rock to the swamp,” which documents resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. (Trailer here.)

Film festival details here.

Webinars on Black Elk and the intersection of Indigenous and Catholic worldviews

St. Thomas University is offering two, free on-line webinars featuring Damian Costello, author of “Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism.”

The Vision and Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk
Tues, Feb 16, 11:45am-12:45pm CST

Few Native American elders have achieved the iconic status of Nicholas Black Elk. Many know his early life through the 1932 classic Black Elk Speaks. Since 2018, the world has learned about the second part of his life through the cause for his canonization in the Catholic Church. Dr. Costello will discuss how Black Elk became a prominent Catholic leader with an unexpected and striking vision. Amid a collapsing world due to oppressive Western colonialism, Black Elk’s vision – at once thoroughly Indigenous and thoroughly Catholic – helped renew his and others’ Lakota understanding of the Spirit World’s creative and healing power. As our current world exhibits increasing signs of collapse, might Black Elk’s vision serve as a beacon of hope?

More information & Webinar Access

Indigenous Sources for Christian Worldviews and Ways of Living
Tues, Feb 23, 11:45am-12:45pm CST

In recent years many Christians have been giving new or renewed attention to religious insights and traditions of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. While some claim that Christians have much to learn from Native philosophies and spiritual practices, others reject this view, suggesting that drawing upon these Indigenous sources compromises Christian witness. Dr. Costello will discuss this controversy and explain why he believes that Christian life can be enriched through engagement with Native Americans, their worldviews, and their traditions.

More information & Webinar Access

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