Protests Shut Down PUC Meeting on Enbridge Line 3

Water Protectors kept their backs to the PUC throughout today’s hearings, with messages pinned to their backs.

Water Protectors interrupted today’s Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) meeting, keeping the Commission from a vote allowing the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline to move forward. It’s a sign of the escalating tension and resistance to the project and the Commission’s ill-considered vote.

“You all should be ashamed of yourselves,” said one Water Protector, using a bull horn from the back of the hearing room. “You are supposed to be representing the state of Minnesota. You are supposed to be representing our safety — the citizen’s safety. And you are also supposed to be respect treaty rights.” (Short video segment here.)

According to a Star Tribune story: “PUC Chairwoman Nancy Lange recessed the meeting but eventually canceled it when a protester playing music on a boombox refused to turn it off. … The PUC will reschedule the meeting as soon as possible, said Dan Wolf, the commission’s executive secretary.”

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Native Nations Sue the Federal Government to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) and the Fort Belknap Indian Community (Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes) are suing the Trump Administration in the District Court for violating key federal regulations in approving the Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline, according to an email from the Native American Rights Fund, which also has joined the suit.

The 77-page lawsuit asks the court to find the federal permits violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act( NHPA). The lawsuit asks the Court to rescind the permits and prohibit “any activity in furtherance of the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Pipeline and related facilities.”

Some of the arguments this lawsuit makes are similar to the ones that Native nations in northern Minnesota could make against Enbridge Line 3.

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Enbridge Uses “Trade Secret” Tag to Hide Inadequate Spill Insurance; Honor the Earth Tries to Bring it to Light

Honor the Earth filed a motion with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Thursday to force Enbridge Energy to disclose the details of the insurance it holds to clean up any potential crude oil spills in Minnesota. Enbridge has kept the information hidden, claiming it is a trade secret. It seems more likely the argument is a ruse to avoid public scrutiny of its inadequate coverage.

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News and Events: Mississippi Headwaters Gathering; Healing Place Festival; and More

Items in this blog:

  • Protecting our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, Sept. 22-23
  • Healing Place Festival, Sept. 15
  • Why are Native American Women Vanishing?
  • Artist, Design Selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in DC

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Book Readings: “Native Tributes” and “The White Supremacist Roots of the Second Amendment”

Here are two upcoming book readings, both free events.

Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7p.m. at the Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st Street, Minneapolis: Birchbark Books welcomes Gerald Vizenor for a reading from his new historical novel “Native Tributes.” In this sequel to Blue Ravens, Vizenor maintains his masterly perception of oral stories, creating a dynamic literary tribute to Native American veterans and visionary artists in the Great Depression. Book signing at Birchbark Books to follow the reading. More info at

Thursday, Sept. 27, at First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis, Reception at 5:30pm. Lecture at 7p.m. Scholar, human rights activist, and author Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will speak about “The White Supremacist Roots of the Second Amendment” in support of her new book “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.” Dunbar-Ortiz also is the author of “An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States.

The reception includes a light supper catered by the Sioux Chef and a chance to meet Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz starting at 5:30 p.m.

Warren Buffett’s Comments Embody the Doctrine of Discovery

CNN Anchor Poppy Harlow interviewed billionaire Warren Buffett on Monday and the Doctrine of Discovery was on full display.

Harlow pressed Buffett on whether he thought the country was due for a recession soon. Here’s his response:

America has been on a 242-year run. I mean it just gets interrupted a little bit. But if you are looking for a run, just look around. There was nothing here in 1776 and now look what we’ve got.

The Doctrine of Discovery refers to the religious and legal justification Europe’s colonial powers used to claim indigenous lands and forcibly convert or enslave indigenous peoples. The Doctrine has its roots in 15th century papal edicts and the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a secular version of the Doctrine into U.S. case law 1823. The Doctrine of Discovery’s world view was that if there were no Christians on the land, the land was basically empty and could be claimed. Or, in Buffett’s words: “There was nothing here.”

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Follow the “First Nations-Farmer Climate Unity March” Against DAPL in Iowa

Today is Day Three of the “First Nations-Farmer Climate Unity March” in Iowa, an event to highlight ongoing opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and promote dialogue.

If you want to follow along, one of the participants writes the blog “Quakers, social justice and revolution,” and is writing daily posts. Participants will march nearly 100 miles from Des Moines, arriving at Fort Dodge Sept. 8. The march was organized by the environmental advocacy groups Bold Iowa and Indigenous Iowa. Continue reading