Drone footage reveals more Line 3 construction damage, water protectors again seek federal intervention

Today, on the one-year anniversary of oil flowing through Enbridge’s new Line 3 tar sands pipeline, Honor the Earth has released a video showing the extent of unreported construction damage.

“We are only beginning to understand the extent of Enbridge’s damage to our fragile fresh water systems – compounded by their botched attempts to fix it,” Honor the Earth said in a media release.

“Minnesota state agencies have not done enough to keep the public informed or ensure our water is safe. Instead, state regulators have continued protecting the Canadian multinational. But the new video evidence says it all: Enbridge has done even more damage than previously known, and they don’t know how to fix it. They must be held accountable and stopped.”

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ICWA lawsuit primer: What it’s about, what’s at stake, who’s involved, and why we should care

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case this year trying to end the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law that provides states guidance on how to handle “child abuse and neglect and adoption cases involving Native children,” with the goal to keep Native children in Native homes.

The case, Haaland v. Brackeen, has huge implications for Native children and families. Less well known is how corporate interests appear to be weighing in, trying to undermine Tribal sovereignty to increase their profits.

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Weekend Reads: Land Back, a court win, and the latest Enbridge criticism

In this post:

  • Native Nations in Wisconsin get big property tax win
  • Wisconsin Point returned to Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • The hyperbole keeps coming from Enbridge and its backers
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Water protector beats bogus charge, case raises questions about biased law enforcement

A District Court Judge in Aitkin County dismissed charges against water protector Shanai Matteson Thursday morning, on day two of her trial. Matteson was charged with “aiding and abetting” trespassing on Enbridge right of way during Line 3’s construction.

The jury had been selected. It had heard from two prosecution witnesses. Before calling any defense witnesses, and before the case went to the jury, Matteson’s attorney Jordan Kushner moved to have it dismissed.

Judge Leslie Mae Metzen gave it the heave ho.

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White Earth Tribal Court dismisses trespass charges against 3 Native Water Protectors

A year ago June, Indigenous leaders set up Camp Fire Light, an eight-day ceremonial camp held near the Mississippi headwaters. They established it to exercise their treaty rights to hunt, fish, gather, and occupy lands they ceded to the United States. They invited non-Indigenous allies to participate in support of treaty rights.

Camp Fire Light participants camped on the wooden matting Enbridge Energy installed to build the Line 3 tar sands pipeline under the Mississippi and surrounding wetlands.

Many Camp Firelight participants received criminal trespass charges in Clearwater County.

Several Indigenous participants had their cases transferred from Clearwater County District Court to White Earth Tribal Court, including Nancy Beaulieu, Justin Keezer, and Todd Thompson.

These three defendants asked the Tribal Court to dismiss their cases “on grounds that their actions were lawful exercises of sovereign Indigenous rights reserved in the 1855 Treaty and protected nonviolent direct action pursuant to the White Earth Tribal Code,” according to a news release issued on their behalf.

Last week, White Earth Tribal Court Judge David DeGroat granted their motion and dismissed their case.

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Upcoming events celebrating water, treaties, and Indigenous communities

In this post:

  • Water is Sacred Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, June 3-5
  • Golden Valley Native American Community Celebration, June 4
  • June 6 Webinar: Indigenous leaders in Canada share their experiences meeting with Pope Francis
  • Treaty People Walk along Superior’s South Shore, June 11-25
  • Shell River Revival: Three weekends this summer, June – August
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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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