Over 2,000 people took action to stop the Line 3 pipeline as part of the Treaty People Gathering in Northern Minnesota from June 5th through June 8th. This gathering was a response to a call to action from Indigenous leaders to travel to the frontlines of the Line 3 pipeline construction in order to challenge the ways this tar sands expansion project threatens Indigenous lifeways and the future of the climate.
Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company, is building Line 3 through Anishinaabe treaty land and the Mississippi headwaters despite multiple tribal-led lawsuits and ongoing frontlines resistance. The Line 3 pipeline would carry nearly a million barrels of dirty tar sands oil into the US per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, WI straight through the heartland of Minnesota. Line 3 pipeline would violate Indigenous treaty rights. If the project is completed, it will run through the Anishinaabe treaty land and the Mississippi Headwaters – putting indigenous lands, untouched wetlands, Lake Superior and the entire Great Lakes watershed, and the Mississippi River at extreme risk. This means that the pipeline would have the climate impact of 50 coal plants and cross 20 rivers including the Mississippi, twice. It’s 2021 –– the tar sands are a dying and obsolete industry, and more fossil fuel expansion will lead to climate catastrophe. It doesn’t make economic or ecological sense to complete the Line 3 project, and it must be stopped now.
Q&A with Vic Barrett
Maayan Cohen (MC): What moved you to participate in the Treaty People Gathering?
Vic Barrett (VB): I am incredibly shocked by the lack of respect for indigenous peoples and their ability to steer us all towards the right path towards climate restoration. We need to understand we’re all bound to the treaties our country made with its native people. I felt moved to go because I care deeply about justice and this pipeline and the impact it will have on the land and the people of that land is massive and without their consent.
MC: What was one of the most impactful moments you experienced at the Treaty People Gathering?
VB: At the gathering we were able to set up camp at one of the spots in which the pipeline will be crossing the Mississippi River. The Mississippi is not only sacred to the Anishinaabe people but it is also one of the largest rivers in our country, and provides life for millions of people. I got to see it at its headwaters where it is only four feet wide at most. Sleeping next to that river and reflecting on its massive importance reminded me what we were there to protect.
MC: From what you experienced and learned at the gathering, what are the best ways people can support?
VB: The best ways you can support the fight against Line 3 is to check out treatypeoplegathering.com/donate. On the site, you can find out what politicians to call in order to hold them accountable to this destruction of land, you can donate to the bail funds of the over 150 people who were arrested for standing up for treaty rights, or you can even figure out how you can head up to Northern Minnesota yourself and join the movement.
Take Action to Stop Line 3 and stand in solidarity with the Treaty People Gathering:
- Call the White House and demand President Biden to Stop Line 3!
- Donate to support the Indigenous-led resistance to the Line 3 pipeline at treatypeoplegathering.com/donate
Want to read more? Check out the ACE Blog.
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