Enbridge Energy LP has been trespassing on Red Lake Nations Ceded lands in Minnesota by operating multiple pipelines without an easement.
Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan, a group of grassroots Red Lake tribal members and allies, demand that the flow of oil through these pipelines be stopped. Enbridge Energy LP purchased these oil pipelines from Lakehead Pipeline, who originally built these pipelines in 1949 on Red Lake land without obtaining the permission of the Red Lake sovereign nation. According to Marty Cobenais, pipeline organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network and a tribal member of Red Lake, "Enbridge Energy LP still does not have permission to have these pipelines" on an eight acre piece of Red Lake land just southeast of Leonard, Minnesota.
Today Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan have occupied the land directly over these pipelines on Red Lake land. They demand that these pipelines be shut down immediately. "The goal is to stand in solidarity not only with our first Nation brothers and sisters in Canada but also to protect our Mother Earth and all of our children and future generations on this earth," says Tito Ybarra, a member of Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan and an enrolled member of the Red Lake band of Ojibwe.
The encampment over the pipeline is not far from the site of a previous pipeline spill.
On August 20, 1979 approximately 16 kilometers northwest of Bemidji, Minnesota, the land surface and shallow subsurface were contaminated when a crude-oil pipeline burst, spilling about 1,700,000 L (liters) (about 10,700 barrels) of crude oil (source/link: USGS pdf "Ground Water Contamination by Crude Oil near Bemidji, Minnesota").For more information about the Indigenous/First Nations lead struggle against Tar Sands, pipelines and climate change please consult and donate to Indigenous Environmental Network based here in Bemidji.