As working class feminists, we are obligated to fight against white supremacy and colonialism. That means standing in solidarity with indigenous peoples. Among many challenges opposed on tribal nations is the ongoing fight for clean water.
In Northern Minnesota, the oil giant Enbridge Energy is attempting to construct Line 3 pipeline to extract oil from Canada’s tar sands region. Line 3 will transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of tar sands crude oil each day. Tar sands crude oil is some of the dirtiest oil in existence and will carry a massive carbon footprint that would exceed that of the whole state of Minnesota.
The Ojibwe people, who will be greatly impacted by this, live in both Canada and the United States, across the Great Lakes. In Minnesota, they have seven reservations called Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, White Earth and Red Lake. Several treaties with the Ojibwe people to formalize their right to gather along the proposed route for the pipeline, hunt and fish are in violation. Two hundred bodies of water will be crossed by the pipeline, including the Mississippi River.
We must fight against Line 3
The battle against Line 3 has lasted for seven years now. Long lasting grassroots organizing against it continue to take public actions, which result in many arrests. Some of the water protector groups include Native American Anishinaabe (Obiwbe) organizations, Honor the Earth, Gitchi Gumi Scouts, and Rise Coalition. Since the beginning, thousands of people have written letters to Army Corps of Engineers’ Jaime Pinkham, organized in their communities, educated their neighbors, protested, and showed up at hearings. We need to stand with them to do the same.