Line 3 Educational Summit Held In Bagley
People gathered in Bagley Wednesday at an event that was hosted by Honor the Earth, 1855 Treaty Authority, MN 350 and other non-profit organizations that oppose construction of a replacement for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline. The focus is to help people gain an understanding of the Anishinaabe people and their connection to the land on a spiritual, historical and cultural level.
“For my community, Line 3 needs to be stopped because it infringes on our treaty lands; our treaties have not been acknowledged or upheld,” Gaagigewaashiik, a 1855 Treaty Authority Wild Rice Committee Member, said.
The discussion started with the history of Anishinaabe tribe and then moved its focus to the Treaty of Washington, also known as the 1855 Treaty. Frank Bibeau, a tribal attorney, says the indigenous people’s treaty rights and the way the tribe reserves them requires plenty of clean, fresh water.
“In our treaty journals, Flat Mouth specifically told the treaty people who were there that we need to keep our rivers and our lakes where we got our livelihoods from because that’s where we fished and hunted and trapped,” Bibeau said.
Bibeau talked about some of the legal briefings of the treaty and the challenges that could arise.
“What we are certain about is that climate change and greenhouse gasses are impacting the walleye population in Minnesota, and we are pretty darn certain that it creates sulfide and sulfate and that it’s impacting wild rice,” Bibeau said. “So those two measurements we can point to and we can say, ‘hey these are impacts right here,’ and so we don’t have to call it ‘climate change,’ we can call it ‘contaminating our food.’”
Alfred Fox, a Chief Conservation Officer for White Earth Nation, said the primary issue is the environmental concern of a Line 3 pipeline and that if it leaks, it will affect the harvest activities they have in the area.
“Not just on the reservation but also off the reservation. I think the big part of this whole thing is going to be an education part of it. Everybody is looking at money, money, money, how is it benefiting the economy in this local area versus what the Native people see as right to harvest, a right to live,” Fox said.
Enbridge said the new line will be safer than the aging current line.
In a statement, Enbridge said:
“The Line 3 Replacement Project is a safety and maintenance driven $2.6 billion private investment in Minnesota’s critical energy infrastructure. Minnesotans consume more than 12.8 million gallons of petroleum products every day and our state relies on imports to meet its energy needs. Minnesota’s two refineries produce more than two-thirds of the state’s petroleum products and 80% of these products are refined from Canadian crude oil. 100% of pipeline-delivered Canadian crude oil supplied to Minnesota refineries comes from Enbridge’s system.
Replacing existing Line 3 with pipe made with thicker steel and the newest and most advanced pipeline technology will help protect our environment for generations to come.
Line 3 is the most studied pipeline in state history. More than 115,000 hours of study on the route was spent on extensive engineering and environmental planning to ensure the protection of sensitive resources. Enbridge has operated pipelines in Minnesota for 70 years.”