Treaties Not Tar Sands

Protecting water from fossil fuel pipeline projects is an example of #LANDBACK. There is the devastation of the earth and water during extraction of fossil fuels, pipeline construction, and when the pipelines leak. The tons of carbon dioxide that will be added to our atmosphere when that fuel is burned. The acidification of the oceans as the water attempts to absorb some of the carbon dioxide from the air.

There is growing recognition among white people that Native peoples should lead efforts to protect Mother Earth. Indigenous peoples world wide have lived in sustainable ways for centuries. And Indigenous peoples have treaty rights to preserve many of their connections to the lands, including access for fishing and growing rice. Treaties that have all been broken, but remain in effect.

Now, helping to lead opposition to the Line 3 pipeline extension in Minnesota, (Tara) Houska says she’s become a firm believer in a “holistic approach to land protection.”

“I’ve also become more firm in my position that as the holders of the last remaining biodiversity on planet Earth, the need to center and uphold tribal sovereignty and indigenous rights, specifically indigenous land rights, is absolutely critical towards any sort of solution there could be involving climate,” she told The Hill in a phone interview from the frontlines of the protests.

Battles over pipelines, she said, are representative of larger tribal environmental struggles, but are a particularly salient issue because of “the immediate localized harms of both spills and degradation to ecosystems through the construction, and harms to the people in the communities by way of manned camps and the influx of out-of-state workers into an area.”

‘The land is us’ — Tribal activist turns from Keystone XL to Line 3 by Zack Budryk, The Hill, 8/1/2021
Water Walkers Headed to Minnesota Capitol
Water Walkers headed for the Capitol: Why They Walk

From Monday, August 23 through Thursday, August 26, water protectors will hold space at the Minnesota State Capitol — with a great big gathering (all welcome!) on Wednesday the 25th to welcome the Treaty People Walk for Water as they reach the end of their 256 mile journey.

Enbridge is racing to complete Line 3, and aims to finish construction and have oil flowing by the end of the year. Our governor and state agencies have failed us — and we need President Biden to step up and ensure that treaties are upheld. Starting on Monday the 23rd, Indigenous grandmothers from White Earth plan to hold ceremony space on the Capitol lawn, along with a powerful visual display of resistance by artist Rory Wakemup. Everyone is welcome to come by between the 10am opening to 5pm closing of the ceremony space each day. Join for lunch and stay for morning and afternoon talking circles to deepen knowledge and build community.

ON AUGUST 25, ALL ARE INVITED TO GATHER for a huge day of ceremony, solidarity, and action to stop Line 3! Since August 7, water protectors have been traveling on foot 256 miles from Line 3’s upstream Mississippi River crossing to St. Paul. They will arrive on the 25th and we need to be there to welcome them! Along with elected officials and community leaders, we will call for action and make ourselves heard. Some may choose to hold space for as long as it takes — if this is you, come with what you need to stay, such as a tent.

SCHEDULE:- Aug 23-26: ceremony, talking circles; opening 10am and closing 5pm daily. Come learn, share, build community.
– August 25 at 12pm: Folks are welcome to join the walkers outside the Martin Luther King Rec Center between noon and 1:00pm on Aug 25th (where they will be having lunch), then to walk with them for the last 1.5 miles to the capitol (arriving around 2)
– Aug 25 at 2pm: big welcome gathering for walkers w/ rally & speakers & food! Some people may choose to hold space past 5pm in the evening and into the 26th.Our state leaders have had years to take action but have sat back — and worse, Gov. Walz has directed state agencies to expedite construction. Principles of free, prior, and informed consent with the Anishinaabe have not been upheld. Given their unwillingness to stop the pipeline, we need President Biden to step in and direct the Army Corps to cancel this pipeline’s permits. This pipeline directly violates treaties, preventing Anishinaabe communities from exercising their guaranteed rights to hunt, fish and engage in cultural practices. It’s also a climate disaster and a carbon bomb, threatening to release as much greenhouse gas emissions as 50 coal plants at a time when the newest IPCC report shows we don’t have time to spare. Multiple pending legal cases against the project deserve to be heard. It’s time to act.

We will have more details to come, and encourage you to keep checking back for information! The time is now to #StopLine3.RSVP on our website –

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 contradictions around racial equity.

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order in 2019 committing the state to meaningful consultation with Native Nations. He followed that up by allowing Enbridge to build its Line 3 tar sands pipeline over strong tribal opposition with little or no consultation.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has touted its racial justice framework. When the agency approved permits for Enbridge Line 3, a majority of its Environmental Justice Working Group resigned, writing: “… we cannot continue to legitimize and provide cover for the MPCA’s war on black and brown people.”

Native grandmothers, water protectors, and their allies are not letting up. They have set up camp on the Capitol lawn as a sign both of their ongoing resistance to Line 3 and their long-standing commitment to uphold treaty rights.

The state has responded with fear: erecting fencing around the Capitol and sending a heavy police presence.

The ‘Treaties Not Tar Sands’ encampment will remain until Thursday. Organizers are planning a ceremony for 10 a.m. Tuesday, with talking circles in the afternoon.

The major event is Wednesday at 2 p.m. when walkers arrive on the Capitol grounds, ending a 200+ mile walk from the Mississippi headwaters to the Capitol, an effort to draw attention to the travesty that is the state-approved Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.

Four-day ‘Treaties Not Tar Sands’ Encampment opens on the State Capitol Mall, Healing Minnesota Stories, August 24, 2021

Included in the article above is a photo essay about the tepees that have been erected at the state capitol. Showing volunteers learning how to put up tepees.

During the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018, a tepee was put up at most of our daily destinations. This video shows how the tepee was set up when we arrived in Ames, Iowa.

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