White Earth Gives 48-Hour Cease-and-Desist Order to Enbridge
On July 26, a 48-hour cease-and-desist order was given to Enbridge Energy, the company constructing the new Line 3 pipeline, by the White Earth Reservation. The order asks Enbridge to stop all construction within a 10-mile buffer of Coffee Pot Landing near La Salle Lake for 48 hours so members of the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe may participate in a healing ceremony along the Mississippi River.
Today, many showed up at Coffee Pot Landing to show their opposition to the Line 3 pipeline and to assert the importance of treaty rights.
“We are all here as a peaceful people,” said Raymond Auginaush, White Earth Tribal Council District 1 Representative. “We’re not here to start trouble, we’re not here – we just want to show you that we do care about our water, we do care about our rice.”
“In our reality, this isn’t a protest,” said Justin Keezer, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. “We have agreements between our government and the United States government when they established those treaties, and we’re guaranteed rights according to [those] treaties.”
Last week in Nisswa at a stop on his education tour, Gov. Tim Walz expressed his belief that those opposed to Line 3 should be able to protest peacefully within the law. He also stated that he thinks the Line 3 project has followed necessary laws and processes and said the transition from fossils fuels may take some time.
“I would tell folks, I share their concern on climate change, I recognize the need for us to try and move to a carbon-free future but I also recognize that I drove here today and others do, and there’s going to be a transition period so it makes sense to replace aging infrastructure,” said Walz.
The cease-and-desist order cited the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 as reasoning for why Enbridge should comply with their request.