Minnesota Native News: Those who Intervene
Minnesota Native News: Those who Intervene
HEADLINES: This week on Minnesota Native News, the permitting process for the line 3 oil pipeline replacement project is moving forward, a small group of Red Lakers work to reclaim its namesake lake and reaction to Trump’s announcement about reconsidering national monuments.
STORY #1 - LINE 3 UPDATE (2:25)
The permitting process for the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project has moved a few steps forward this past week.
Reporter Melissa Townsend has the story.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce released the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the oil pipeline project on Monday, May 15th.
That was 6 weeks after the initial deadline.
And it kicked off the next stage in the pipeline’s permitting and due process.
The Native led environmental group Honor the Earth had requested an extension of the review process — given the delayed release of the report.
Winona LaDuke is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth.
LADUKE: A lot of people are just kind of trying to understand the process of the Public utilities Commission so we did petition for more time for individuals if they want to intervene. (:09)
A number of new parties have applied to be what they call “intervenors”.
— meaning they can officially participate in the regulatory hearing process.
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa just applied to be an intervenor.
LADUKE: Yea, they have a very significant stake both in the fact that the company has not cleaned up the old pipeline and the fact the new line will affect the treaty territories that surround them. (:11)
The state’s Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly finalized the public comment process and a schedule of public meetings on the draft environmental impact statement.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce will host 22 meetings in 16 days in towns along the proposed routes.
The first one is in McGregor on June 6th and the final meeting is in Bemidji on June 22nd.
The Department of Commerce will accept written public comments through July 10th.
A decision on the Enbrdige Company’s Line 3 replacement project is expected sometime in the spring of 2018.
As for Honor the Earth, Winona LaDuke says the group will be active inside and outside the permitting process.
Representatives from the group recently traveled with jingle dress dancers to the Enbridge corporate shareholder meeting in Alberta, Canada.
LADUKE: We were joined by people from the tar sands region - a lot of local communities concerned about the pipeline - and we prayed and we danced at the Enbridge shareholders meeting. (:12)
Laduke says she feels strongly that there is a chance here to protect the water and stop this pipeline from being built.
LADUKE: I think there is a very good chance that Line 3 won’t happen but we will have to work very hard all together - everyone will have to work to make it not happen. It’s all of our water. (:08)
For now, the formal process continues along with community activities to bring attention to the environment and stop the pipeline.
For Minnesota Native News, I’m Melissa Townsend.
STORY #2 - RECLAIMING RED LAKE (1:24)
The reservation of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe includes half of the body of water called Red Lake.
The 1889 treaty that defines the borders of the reservation cuts the actual lake in half.
There is lower Red Lake within the reservation boundaries, and Upper Red Lake, which is not.
But this has always been controversial.
And now a small grassroots group of Red Lakers are beginning work to reclaim the whole lake as tribal land.
SPEARS: Red Lakers believe that the map that defines the borders now was altered and fabricated after negotiations. (:12)
George Spears is a citizen of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe and the organizer of Red Lake Action - the grassroots group working to reclaim the lake.
He says archives show that the Red Lake Chiefs who negotiated the 1889 treaty never thought of the lake as 2 separate bodies.
And he says there is no map included in the1889 treaty documents - which is strange.
Spears says some tribal members are very interested in working to reclaim what he calls northern Red Lake, but its’ not currently a priority for the tribal council.
The question is - could they win northern Red Lake if it went to the courts.
SPEARS: And that’s the big question that Red Lake Tribal Council and Red Lakers have been struggling with - we do have evidence to prove that it was taken, but is it enough evidence? (:11)
For now, Spears says he will continue to try and mobilize Red Lakers to push the issue forward.
STORY #3 - DIVER ON BEARS EARS (:58)
President Trump recently signed an Executive Order that could potentially revoke monument status to a number of sites around the country.
The order allows the Secretary of the Interior to reconsider all national monuments over 100-thousand acres that have been designated since 1996.
The most recent designated site is the 1.3 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.
Former Fond du Lac tribal Chairwoman Karen Diver was part of the Obama administration during the designation process.
She says she is annoyed by Trump’s announcement to reconsider the Bears Ears monument status.
DIVER: That one is particularly vexing just because um, it was a very moderate approach. It really found the win-win in terms of tribe’s, outdoor enthusiasts, conservationists, archeologists and the needs of the state that they put forth through their legislators. (:17)
She says designating areas like Bears Ears for conservation helps mitigate the destructive practices in other places.
This week on Minnesota Native News, the permitting process for the line 3 oil pipeline replacement project is moving forward, a small group of Red Lakers work to reclaim its namesake lake and reaction to Trump’s announcement about reconsidering national monuments.