Indigenous Water Protector Ascends Tripod at Governor's Home for Refiling Department of Commerce Line 3 Lawsuit
August 19, 2020
Early Tuesday morning, an Anishinaabe water protector bravely ascended a tripod high in the air in front of Governor Tim Walz’ home, as dozens of supporters held space below.
Over the weekend, multiple groups have rallied on location as Governor Walz remained silent on refiling a critical lawsuit regarding Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project failing to demonstrate future demand for its tar sands.
Minnesota law requires an oil forecast to justify the massive new tar sands line, which proposes to send nearly 1 million barrels of tar sands sludge through hundreds of Minnesota watersheds, wetlands, and Anishinaabe treaty territory.
When Minnesota’s Public Utility Commission approved Line 3, the Department of Commerce sued for lack of a legally-mandated oil forecast to justify bulldozing through pristine forests and untouched wetlands. Minnesota law has not changed, yet the Walz administration has not refiled the DOC lawsuit. The deadline is Wednesday, August 19th.
When asked why such a risk was necessary, Waabigonikwe Raven, Crane Clan of Lac Courte Orielles Band of Ojibwe said:
“Boozhoo Indinnawemaaganidog Wabigonikwe Raven indiginikaaz. Odaawaa Zaaga’iganing nimbiindigebii ‘igaaz. Ajijaak niin nindoodem.
Hello all my relatives. My name is Wabigonikwe Raven, I am an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Orielles Anishinaabe tribe and I am crane clan.
I am risking my safety and my freedom in Governor Walz’ front yard to ask you that by tomorrow you do the right thing: refile the DOC lawsuit. I wouldn’t be up here if Line 3 being put in the ground wasn’t that big of a deal to me. My friends and I are here because our ancestors fought to protect our traditions, the land, and each other. As a climate issue and a human rights issue, Line 3 should not be built. Just like my ancestors we won’t stop fighting, whether you like it or not. So get used to seeing this face.”