Winona LaDuke tells crowd “water is life.”
Published September 3, 2018
Leaders Escalate Ongoing Campaign Against Line 3, Call for Immediate Action to Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Last Wednesday, Native and non-Native leaders were joined by national environmental advocates to urge Governor Mark Dayton to act immediately to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
Participants included tribal elders, local environmental and Indigenous advocates and faith leaders, Youth Climate Intervenors, and national representatives from the Sierra Club. The group gathered to engage in an act of civil disobedience, occupying an intersection in downtown Bemidji in order to escalate the ongoing campaign against Line 3.
At the same time, a group sat-in at the governor’s office playing live-streamed video from the action in Bemidji in order to send a clear message to Governor Dayton that now is the time to take action and stop the pipeline.
The MN Public Utilities Commission voted in June to approve Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, ignoring the recommendations of the MN Department of Commerce, Office of Administrative Hearings, Pollutions Control Agency, and Department of Natural Resources, and acting against the wishes of four Tribal governments and thousands of Minnesotans who participated in the PUC process in opposition to Line 3.
“The PUC made an irresponsible decision when they approved Line 3, putting our clean water, our communities, and our climate at risk. Now we are calling on Governor Dayton to act. It is time for him to protect Minnesota from this dangerous tar sands pipeline,” said Margaret Levin, director of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter.
“I am here to say, Bimaadiziwin Nibi. Water is Life,” said Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, who lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. “I am here to say that our state should not be militarized and our people arrested and injured for a Canadian Pipeline Company. I am here because it is necessary to be here, to protect our Future Generations. I am a Water Protector.”
“As a network of Native Nations and grassroots Tribal communities throughout the United States, Canada and Alaska, the Indigenous Environmental Network stands with tribal leaders of northern Minnesota who are risking arrest to defend their land, water, future generations and treaty rights,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network. “Tribal governments and Minnesotans are telling Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to take immediate action through Executive Order to halt all permits and any pre-construction of the proposed Enbridge Line 3 pipeline until legal appeals are heard, until the courts have fully weighed in, and the Minnesota Tribes have conducted through assessment and inventory of significant cultural and historical properties and sacred sites.”