Giving Compass' Take:
- Winona LaDuke shares the story of Anishnaabe Water Protectors in Minnesota who have been fighting to stop Enbridge's Line 3 Pipeline for seven years.
- Who should have the right to decide whether a pipeline is installed? As we confront the severity of the climate crisis, should we be continuing to build pipelines? How can speaking out or donating to critical funds support the Water Protectors' mission?
- Learn about how activists killed the Constitution Pipeline.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
In normal times, about 100 souls live in this small Northern Minnesota town on the banks of the Mississippi River where we are making our stand against one of the largest tar sands pipeline projects in North America. Known as Line 3, it has the potential to carry 915,000 barrels a day of dirty oil over 1000 miles, from Alberta in Canada to Superior, Wis. Palisade is the kind of place where most people know one another a couple of generations back, a town with a tiny main street and just one café. Now there are about 400 workers here—most from out of state—rolling heavy trucks and equipment down icy, windy unfamiliar roads every day.
This small town is nestled in the deep woods and muskegs of Aitkin County, the lands of the Chippewa of the Mississippi, as my people are known. Akiing, the Anishinaabe word for “the land to which the people belong,” is half land and half water. Waters deep and shallow filled with wild rice, sturgeon and muskies, and all the mysteries of the deep waters. This is the only place in the world where wild rice grows. Each year in succession the manoomin returns, the only grain native to North America. This is the homeland of the Anishinaabe.
And here Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in the world, is hell-bent on jamming through their Line 3 Pipeline, the company’s most massive project, under the cover of this Covid winter as fast as they can—before we can stop them and before the world takes notice.
First the big dozers came, then the excavators, backhoes, and buncher fellers. That last one just sort of walks through the forest, beheads a tree, drops the top to one side, and then comes back for the rest of the tree. This is how Enbridge rolls through a forest.
Then there’s the armed forces, the sheriff’s office, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who have deployed here. Their wages are paid by Enbridge.
From the Water Protector Center at the edge of the pipeline route, Water Protectors gather. We hear the pounding all day long. The constant roar of heavy machinery as it rips through the forest and the wetlands.
It looks like an occupation. It feels like an occupation.
Read the full article about Water Protectors in Minnesota by Winona LaDuke at The Nation.