Water Protectors seeing cases dismissed, Indigenous view on the outdoor recreation industry, and more

In this post:

  • Line 3 water protectors seeing case dismissed
  • Native Governance Center online event: Sovereignty and Outdoor Spaces
  • Amnesty International on the U.S.’s ongoing failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence
  • Reflections from a white Evangelical on Native American genocide, the white supremacist terrorist in Buffalo, NY, and Replacement Theory
  • Lakota People’s Law Project: Mining is destroying the Black Hills (includes action request)
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Understanding the Regulatory/Industrial Complex’s ‘Pipeline Playbook’

File: Line 3 construction

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Enbridge Line 3 in Minnesota, Enbridge Line 5 in Wisconsin and Michigan, and other crude oil pipelines have had, or continue to have, controversial paths towards approval.

With the exception of Keystone XL, corporate interests have won out over strong public resistance and weak regulatory oversight. 

Pipeline firms have got the go-ahead on massive infrastructure projects in spite of their their treaty violations, their troubling track records, and their long-term environmental costs, including their significant climate damage.

The Regulatory/Industrial Complex has a Pipeline Playbook that needs to be named and called out.

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Montana sued for failing ‘Indian Education for All’ commitment

Some things look better on paper than they perform in reality.

Such seems to be the case in Montana, the only state in the country with a constitutional amendment and specific laws to require public schools to teach Indian education for all students.

The language sounds so promising. Yet a number of Native Nations and Indigenous parents say after decades the state still isn’t living up to those promises. Some have proposed a class action lawsuit to force the issue.

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State of Washington, courts use broken treaty promises to justify breaking more treaty promises

The state of Minnesota failed miserably to uphold, let alone consider, how the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline violated Anishinaabe treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather on the lands they ceded to the U.S. government.

Those “usufractuary” rights to hunt, fish, and gather outside reservation boundaries are critical to many if not all Native Nations. The Anishinaabe’s struggle to keep its hunting and fishing rights gets repeated across the country.

Consider the State of Washington’s ludicrous efforts to strip Snoqualmie Nation of its treaty rights.

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In the courts: Making the case that treaty rights could force government action on climate change

It’s nearly impossible to get politicians who operate on a two- to four-year election cycles to take the long view on the climate crisis. It would require political courage to overhaul our energy infrastructure, disrupt the status quo — and risk voters’ wrath — for a better future. Those of us in Minnesota saw first hand how political leaders and regulators ignored the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline’s projected climate damage.

A recent Harvard Law Review article makes a strong case that treaty rights could be a powerful tool to force state and federal governments to address this existential threat. The argument rests on established U.S. Supreme Court precedents.

It would take a lot of courage for the leaders of Native Nations to sue in court. These cases are costly and drag on for years. Further, Tribes risk losing. That means further erosion of their treaty rights.

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Events: ‘Communities by the Water’ event celebrating the love of clean water, benefits for Line 3 legal defense fund, and more

In this post:

  • Communities by the Water, a gathering and response to extractive projects such as Enbridge Line 5, June 25
  • “Music for the Movement” benefits for the “Stop Line 3 Legal Defense Fund,” April 10 and 18
  • Community Conversation about the future of the Upper Lock at Owámniyomni, St. Anthony Falls, April 12
  • Support Ron Turney!
  • A bit of wisdom
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A hard look at the State of MN’s commitment to ‘meaningful consultation’ with Native Nations

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan failed miserably to live up to the spirit of their pledge of “meaningful consultation” with Native Nations. Examples include the state’s approval of Enbridge Line 3, MinnTac mine’s ongoing wild-rice-damaging pollution, the proposed Huber Lumber mill, and other environmental issues.

All state agencies are required to have tribal consultation policies on file with the Governor’s Office. Healing Minnesota Stories obtained copies through a Data Practices Act request.

The “meaningful consultation’ agencies provide don’t include any accountability or enforcement measures. Agencies aren’t transparent on how Tribal consultation affects their decisions.

A state law passed last year could strengthen the practice of “meaningful consultation.” Only time will tell.

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As many as six new aquifer breaches possible along Enbridge Line 3 route, court filing says

It’s part of Manoomin (wild rice) litigation before White Earth Appeals Court

The construction of Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline resulted in as many as six aquifer breaches, in addition to the three we already know about.

That information was included in a Friday filing with the White Earth Appeals Court by Manoomin (wild rice), the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, and others. It was part of a formal request that the court reconsider their complaint against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for granting Enbridge massive dewatering permits to build Line 3. That dewatering damaged Manoomin and harmed the well being of White Earth residents, the filing said.

The White Earth Court of Appeals dismissed the case March 10. Plaintiffs have provided new information to bolster their motion for reconsideration.

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White Earth Appeals Court dismisses Right of Manoomin suit; Canada tries to sell Indigenous groups the Trans Mountain Pipeline: Buyer Beware!

In this post:

  • White Earth Court of Appeals dismisses Rights of Manoomin (wild rice) suit against DNR
  • Canadian government’s effort to get First Nations to buy financially troubled Trans Mountain pipeline seems cynical
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DNR lacks transparency in holding Enbridge accountable for Line 3’s environmental damage

To those Wisconsin and Michigan residents worried about construction of the Enbridge Line 5 tar sands pipeline: Beware the aquifer breaches and monitor any dewatering permit. Let your state regulators know about the company’s track record and that you expect a stronger state response than what happened in Minnesota.

Here, Enbridge violated state permits where Line 3 construction crews broke through aquifers in three places. In all, these breaches released at least 285 million gallons of groundwater.

We’re only now learning the extent of the damage that occurred last fall. Until this week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has withheld even basic information on two of the three breaches, such as their locations and extent of groundwater loss.

It’s only the latest example of how Minnesota’s regulatory system is set up to help large corporations like Enbridge rather than serve the public interest.

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