LaDuke: A water protector comes home to think


So it looks like Enbridge could win this round of dirty pipelines. Unless a member of the government is of integrity. And to all the enemies of northern Minnesota who want to stick with the Indians once again: Great job, all of you.

The price is high. Enbridge got 5 billion gallons of water during drought the largest water allocation in state history, and essentially sucked up wetlands and dry rivers. No environmental review on that one. The regulatory system appears to belong to the Canadian multinational.

Enbridge has cracked our aquifer in Clearwater County. And this aquifer will bleed 100,000 gallons of drinking water per day. It is a crime, and although the fine is $ 3.2 million, it is only a large sum for the Canadian multinational. Documents released by MNR reveal that Enbridge caused significant damage to the water table when it deviated from its approved construction plan in January. The damage is permanent and we don’t know how to fix it. Enbridge, the guys who own a lot of the north, didn’t report this accident. It turns out they don’t report most of their bad stuff.

In the hottest summer since the Dust Bowl, Enbridge burned our rivers and wetlands with 28 distinct known fracking outlets of toxic chemicals, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency stayed there and watched practically everything. Then he took water from the municipal water supply. No one has a clue when these deep aquifers will be replenished or when Park Rapids might simply run out of water.

With the Public Utilities Commission as a facilitator, Enbridge prostituted Minnesota police and funded police brutality. Working for a Canadian multinational to protect the private interests of that company, cops across the state have arrested 900 or more people. Some were 70 years old, others were only 18 years old. They were all there for the water. Many of us have spent nights in jail. On July 29, rubber bullets were fired at water guards who suffered from deep bruises and later pain obedience torture that mainly targeted young and old women just for the water. .

Four contractors working on Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline were arrested in connection with sex trafficking, first in Itasca County and then in Beltrami County. The big players in this tragedy are people like Governor Walz, who bowed to Enbridge’s pandemic pipeline for jobs and money. And Sens. Klobuchar and Smith, who just sit there and pretend they don’t have a say. Enbridge funds were spread across the north of the country with the generosity of a predator, I would say. But the jobs … well, two-thirds of them went to out-of-state workers. But it wasn’t just a job; this job was to destroy water, people and life.

Walz and Enbridge continue to defy treaties and international law. The United Nations has taken the extraordinary step of seeking a response from the United States regarding allegations of human rights violations against the Anishinaabe associated with the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. The letter notes, among other things, that these human rights violations rights would amount to a violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the United States has signed and ratified.

Walz violated public trust and brutalized us all for a Canadian company. And to be clear about it, this business isn’t even fully insured. During the Line 3 licensing process, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission required Enbridge to purchase $ 200 million in “environmental liability” insurance, in addition to coverage. general liability of $ 900 million, and that it includes the State of Minnesota and several Native American tribes as additional insureds on its policies. But Enbridge recently submitted a report to the PUC saying it is unlikely to be able to obtain this assurance “in the near future”. As line 3 moves forward, we have uninsured third party liability in the middle of our territory and it is irresponsible.

In the end, the company succeeded in pitting brother against sister, neighbor against neighbor. Tribe against tribe. I don’t know what reconciliation looks like. Asking aboriginal people and water conservationists like me to “get over it” is a bit like asking a woman who has been raped to forget about it.

Someone asked me to let people know if it was worth it. To this, I say, doing the right thing is always the best way. After all, you can live without oil, but not without water. There is a whole group of us standing up for what is right. And we’re not going anywhere: the Water Protector Movement is here to stay. Given the stakes of the intense carbon warming of our stressed planet, I think history will treat us like the heroes that we are.

Winona LaDuke is Executive Director of Honor the Earth and an Ojibwa writer and economist from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. She is also the owner of Winona’s Hemp and is a regular contributor to the Forum News Service.


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