Line 3: Martineau declines award; Enbridge Line 5 mediation ends; U.N. committee presses U.S. on human rights abuses of the Anishinaabe

In this blog:

  • Taysha Martineau declines award, rejecting corporate climate hypocrisy
  • Mediation talks on Enbridge Line 5 in Michigan end with no agreement
  • U.N. Committee seeks U.S. response to allegations of human rights abuses of Anishinaabe people resisting Enbridge Line 3

Taysha Martineau declines award, rejecting corporate climate hypocrisy

Taysha Martineau of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has been a leader in Enbridge Line 3 resistance. It’s been particularly trying work, as the Fond du Lac community is divided. The Fond du Lac government reached a financial arrangement with Enbridge to allow the pipeline to cross its lands. Still, many in the community oppose it.

Martineau was recognized with the #Climate Week 30 under 30 Award but declined it. Turns out the Bank of America and Wells Fargo are both sponsors of Climate Week, and also finance Enbridge’s climate damaging projects.

The StopTheMoneyPipeline blog specifically called out Bank of America for pretending it cares about the environment when the facts speak otherwise, a practice called “greenwashing.”

Bank of America Bank this week provided underwriting for a new $1.5 billion bond for Enbridge Inc., the blog said. “Enbridge is infamous as the company building the Line 3 tar sands pipeline and reimbursing Minnesota law enforcement for cracking down on unarmed Indigenous water protectors. Enbridge is also a part owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Mediation talks on Enbridge Line 5 in Michigan end with no agreement

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to stand against Enbridge Line 5, providing stronger climate leadership than Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, which admittedly is a low bar.

In the latest news, mediation talks begun in April between Whitmer and Enbridge ended this month with no deal, according to Grist.

Just like in Minnesota, Enbridge plays by its own rules.

Whitmer ordered Enbridge to shut down Line 5 by May. The 68-year-old section of Line 5 in dispute is lying on the floor of the Straits of Mackinac, where lakes Huron and Michigan meet. Whitmer revoked Enbridge’s easement, concerned about a possible oil spill.

Enbridge has ignored her order and continues to pump millions of gallons of tar sands crude oil through those pipes each day.

Enbridge has proposed drilling a tunnel under the Great Lakes, a plan now before the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Just like in Minnesota, Enbridge is ignoring treaty rights.

The Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) President Whitney Gravelle submitted testimony to the Public Service Commission describing the grave harms posed by the Line 5 tunnel to their hunting, fishing and gathering rights, according to the Native American Rights Fund.

“It is dangerous to construct a tunnel and route a pipeline through lands and waters that are central to our existence as indigenous people and as a Tribal Nation,” wrote Gravelle. “The project poses a serious threat to our treaty rights, our cultural and religious interests in the Great Lakes, our economy, and the health and welfare of our tribal citizens.”

Native American Rights Fund

Recent scientific testimony before the Commission estimated the oil moving through Line 5 would add $41 billion in climate damage over 50 years, the Energy Mix reported.

That’s much less than the estimated $287 billion in climate damage estimated for the new Enbridge Line 3 over 30 years.

U.N. Committee seeks U.S. response to allegations of human rights abuses of Anishinaabe people resisting Enbridge Line 3

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) “has taken the extraordinary measure to request a response from the United States regarding allegations of human rights violations against the Anishinaabe associated with the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction,” according to a news release from Honor the Earth.

On March 29, 2021, Honor the Earth and Giniw Collective submitted a petition requesting CERD’s immediate intervention, detailing the ongoing violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, “including the right to free, prior, and informed consent; the right to health; the right to culture; and the right to security and to be free from violence.”

CERD published a letter to the U.S. Government, dated August 25, requesting that the United States. respond to these allegations. “The letter notes, among other things, that these rights violations would amount to a violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which the U.S. has signed and ratified,” Honor the Earth’s news release said.

CERD’s request focuses on treaty rights violations, what Honor the Earth describes as a first for CERD engaging with the United States.

The Committee requested the U.S. “provide details on the status of the treaties concluded between the Anishinaabe indigenous peoples and the Government of the United States of America and on measures adopted to guarantee the respect of the rights of the Anishinaabe under such treaties,” specifically usufructuary rights upheld by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians.

CERD asked for a response by Oct. 15.

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