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“As far as I’m concerned, Enbridge screwed up our lake, and they’re taking money directly away from our families,” Jerry Libby, an Anishinaabe wild rice harvester, told the Guardian. “It makes us feel anguished — this is our staple food, you know.”
Why This Matters: For the Indigenous Anishinaabe harvesters, the low water levels prevent them from harvesting wild rice, which is sacred and part of their ceremonies. This “depriv[es] them of a major source of physical and spiritual sustenance, as well as a significant source of income,” the Guardian writes. Line 3 runs across some of the country’s most significant water bodies for wild rice.
And beyond the harm Line 3 poses to Indigenous communities, it’s a fossil fuel pipeline. Once operational, the pipeline will be responsible for emissions equivalent to 50 coal plants, according to analysis by the nonprofit Oil Change International.
Rights for Wild Rice
There have been protests against the Line 3 pipeline since Minnesota regulators approved the project back in 2015. This summer, a series of protests faced violent pushback from law enforcement, including protestors kettled outside the governor’s residence being kettled.
In addition to protests, a tribal court lawsuit is working to prevent the pipeline and protect wild rice. Using the concept of rights of nature — which posits nature has a right to flourish and isn’t human property — the wild rice is the plaintiff in a case against the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The state appeals court recently gave the case a step forward, ruling that the tribe (the northwestern Minnesota’s White Earth Band of Ojibwe) is immune from being sued but the state isn’t.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer For decades, uranium mining has contaminated the Navajo Nation, causing higher cancer rates and water pollution. Even though the health risks and environmental harms of uranium mining are well-established, new operations continue to move forward. One local group, the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) hasn’t found a […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he would extend the drought emergency statewide and issued an executive order to have residents conserve water. As part of this effort, eight new counties were added to the state of emergency, and authorized the State Water Resources Control Board was authorized to […]
By Elizabeth Love, ODP Contributing Writer Authorities in the Canadian Arctic territory Nunavut, announced a state of emergency this week due to a possible contamination event affecting the City of Iqaluit’s water supply. Tests were performed after residents reported the smell of gasoline coming from their tap water, but they came back clean. However, […]
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