Enbridge Challenged at Meeting | Explore Superior©

Environmentalists Discuss Enbridge Pipeline


Discussion Unites Diverse Groups

By Felicity Bosk

Several groups focused on the same mission of preventing the Enbridge pipeline from being built met on the UW-Superior campus Monday night. Groups present included Honor Earth, MN350, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, Native Lives Matter, and UWS Native Nations Student Organization and concerned community members.

They discussed their Nov. 2 protest at the Enbridge office in Duluth, future acts, and why they are fighting against this pipeline being built. In the hallway on Nov. 2, people chanted what encompassed their mission: “when our water is under attack, what do we do, we fight back”

A group of about 250 went into the Enbridge offices in Duluth to tell them “to do full consultation with tribes impacted by [the] proposed pipeline expansion plans, conduct full environmental review, and invest fully in a just transition to clean energy instead of building more fossil fuel infrastructure.” In the hallway and lobby they played and sang traditional Native American songs.

Police were called and told the protesters they were trespassing. Seven people chose to sit on the floor of the lobby and not leave which resulted in their arrest. Last Tuesday those people had their court hearing and were arraigned on misdemeanor trespassing and will appear again in court in January.

The proposed pipeline would travel from Albert, Canada through Minnesota where the most vulnerable wetland and soil is as well as where wild rice is grown. Thane Maxwell, a volunteer for Honor Earth said the “Enbridge process is dishonest, violates sovereignty, violates human rights and earth rights.”

Minnesota 350 is a volunteer movement against climate change. They are concerned about the fracked oil and tar sands in Alberta’s boreal forest as well as the damage the Enbridge pipeline could do Minnesota water.

25 people attended the meeting Monday night to listen to speakers from the organization and to discuss what they value most in our environment. Many in attendance were Native Americans, concerned that the pipeline would violate the 1855 treaty in which the Ojibwe, Pillagers, and other ceded land to U.S. government. In the treaty, the Ojibwes protected their economy and lifestyle by reserving the right to hunt, fish, and gather in the ceded territory. Since they believe the pipeline poses a threat to the ecosystem, they feel that their right to take sustenance from the land is also threatened.

Photo (above): Andy Pearson of MN350spoke about how the tar sand mining in Alberta has changed the boreal forest.

Photo by Felicity Bosk | Explore Superior©


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