Call Gov. Walz, Tell Him to Support Lawsuit to Stop Enbridge Line 3

In the final weeks of his term in office, Gov. Mark Dayton took a stand against approving the Enbridge Line crude oil pipeline. The project threatens clean waters (think Mississippi River and wild rice beds), breaks treaty rights, and generates climate damage equivalent to 50 coal power plants.

Dayton sat on the sidelines of the debate for a long time. But in the end, he supported the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn Line 3’s approval. (See MPR story: Minnesota governor’s administration files Line 3 appeal.)

“I strongly support my Commerce Department’s appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s Order,” Dayton said in a statement. “Enbridge failed to provide a future demand forecast for its product, which is required by state law. Instead, the company presented its analysis of the future oil supply from Canadian tar sands extractions.”

Gov. Walz. a Camp Wellstone graduate, has taken his spot on the sidelines, going squishy on this critical issue. Walz is undecided on whether to support the lawsuit begun under the Dayton administration. (See MinnPost story: Walz Administration Reconsidering Lawsuit Against Enbridge Pipeline Project.)

He needs to here from constituents. Here’s how.

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Events: Dakota Winter Walk; ‘Film: Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock’ and More

In this blog:

  • Organizing as Healing, Healing as Revolution, Wednesday, January 23, 9:00-10:45 a.m., SpringHouse Ministry, 610 W. 28th St., Minneapolis
  • Dakota Winter Walk, Friday, Feb. 15, 6:30-8 p.m., Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, St. Paul
  • Integrating Sacred and Medical Healing, Thursday, Feb. 28, Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina
  • Film Screening of Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock, Friday, March 29, Augsburg University, Sateren Auditorium, 2200 Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave. S., Minneapolis. Reception 6:15-6:45 p.m., Screening begins at 7 p.m. Discussion will follow.

Details follow.

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This Day in History: Nelson Act Breaks Treaties, Steals Anishinaabe Land in Minnesota, Forces Assimilation

On this day in history, Jan. 14, 1889, Congress approved “An act for the relief and civilization of the Chippewa Indians in the State of Minnesota.Not surprisingly, that’s a euphemism. The act did not provide relief. Quite the opposite, it violated treaties, forced assimilation, and stole Native lands. Continue reading

Anishinaabe ‘Rights of Manoomin’ Laws Create Legal Basis to Protect Sacred Wild Rice

‘This would be the first law to recognize the legal rights of a plant species

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Authority are taking action to address the growing threats to native wild rice, such as potential crude oil pipeline spills or the spread of genetically modified wild rice. They are establishing new laws and claiming treaty rights to protect their culture and sacred food.

The 1855 Treaty Alliance was established to protect the treaty rights of Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, White Earth, East Lake and Sandy Lake bands. The Alliance covers those lands the Anishinaabe ceded as part of their 1855 Treaty with the United States. (Among those treaty rights, bands claim the right to hunt, fish and gather — including harvesting wild rice — on ceded lands.)

According to a media statement from the 1855 Treaty Alliance:

Recently the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Alliance adopted Rights of Manoomn for on and off reservation protection of wild rice and the clean, fresh water resources and habitats in which it thrives. The Rights of Manoomin were adopted because “it has become necessary to provide a legal basis to protect wild rice and fresh water resources as part of our primary treaty foods for future generations” …

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Gov. Walz Administration Reconsidering Enbridge Line 3 Lawsuit; Pipeline Resisters Organizing Peaceful Inaugural Response

Gov. Tim Walz administration is reconsidering the state’s role in a lawsuit to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline, according to a MinnPost story.

Under Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, the Minnesota Department of Commerce opposed approving Line 3, saying Enbridge had not proved the pipeline was needed. (Line 3 will cross 330-plus miles of northern Minnesota, threatening the environment and treaty rights.) The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the project last year and Commerce sued in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, asking it to overturn the PUC’s decision.

It remains unclear if the Walz administration will continue the legal challenge or not.

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This Day in History 1868: Indian Peace Commission Report Issued (Shows Moral Blindness of the Era)

In 1867, Congress created the Indian Peace Commission to make peace with hostile Indian nations on the western plains, secure the safety of frontier settlements, and create a plan to “civilize” the Indians. The Commission was charged with identifying new reservation lands to relocate all hostile Indians east of the Rocky mountains

The Commission issued its first report 150 years ago today and presented it to President Andrew Johnson. While the report acknowledges the government had done great injustices to Native peoples, it’s steeped in the language of Manifest Destiny and white Christian superiority, as well as moral blindness.

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