Article by PBI-Canada

Photo by Giniw Collective.

On February 26, Ojibwe land defender Tara Houska tweeted: “There are 130+ Water Protectors facing charges for protecting the land from Line 3 tar sands…”

Commenting on the arrest of land defenders earlier this year, Houska noted: “We saw Minnesota’s police officers protecting a Canadian tar sands pipeline.”

If completed, the Calgary-based Enbridge Inc.-owned Line 3 pipeline would move 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta to Wisconsin.

RAN has noted: “The [542 kilometers] Minnesota stretch of the pipeline is all that remains to be built. In November 2020, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved the final permits for the pipeline.”

Work on the pipeline began in Minnesota on December 1 and is expected to take 6 to 9 months to complete. It was recently reported that Enbridge anticipates it will finish the construction of the pipeline by the end of September.

Truthout has explained: “Most of the Minnesota segment of the pipeline is routed through 1855 and 1863 treaty lands. The city of Palisade and Aitkin County are located within Ojibwe treaty territories belonging to the Leech Lake, Fond du Lac, White Earth, and Red Lake bands. According to the 1855 and 1863 treaties, Ojibwe have hunting, gathering, and fishing rights on the lands.”

The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, which represents the 11 Native nations within Minnesota, has asked Governor Tim Walz to issue an executive order putting a stay on the construction of the pipeline as lawsuits are heard in court.

For more, you can follow Tara Houska and the Giniw Collective on Twitter.