In June I wrote about how the American government was violating its treaty with Native American tribes by allowing Enbridge to install Pipeline3 (Line 3) on their lands — without their consent. This is a clear violation of the Indigenous treaty rights, but politicians and corporations don’t really care — and they are continuing to colonize their lands. Yes, colonize. By the way, there’s already been a spill from Line 3.
This article has two parts. One is the news of the Line 3 spill, which isn’t widely reported on. I found out about it while researching info for the other part of this article — which is on how Indigenous water protectors needed our help.
Line 3 Oil Spill
The MinnPost reported that Enbridge’s spill of drilling fluid into the Willow River during Line 3 construction prove that the company shouldn’t be allowed to police itself. The article noted that hours after the spill had been reported, cleanup finally began. They waited hours and let the oil flow into the waterway before starting the cleanup. Yet, I haven’t seen any other media outlet reporting about the Line 3 oil spill into the Willow River.
The truth is that these corporations don’t care about our planet, nor does our nation care about the treaties it set up with the Indigenous People. Nor do they care about our drinking water. We will all end up choking on their greed.
Indigenous Americans Need Our Help
Indigenous TikTokers such as Modern Warrior, Quiiroi (pronounced Corey), and several others have posted videos about it and I stand with them. Modern Warrior often speaks out against the hate, discrimination, and bullying of Indigenous People that, sadly, continues to this day. He’s a popular influencer who is helping spread awareness about the protest against Line 3.
Quiiroi, Helix, & Lee
Modern Warrior explained that Quiiroi and her friends, Helix and Lee, went to Minnesota to support the area’s Indigenous tribe in protesting Line 3. However, they will have to leave — all of them — because the area will not be safe for them or for the tribes living there. Note: they will not be able to use the area of their own lands where the pipeline is being laid down. And when it spills again, their food and water supplies will be ruined. How is this not colonization?
“They are there now and are running into some issues,” Modern Warrior said in the video. “They need your support.”
Quiiroi, Helix, and Lee are at the Red Lake River, and Quiiroi explained that this will be their last few hours at the camp. “We’re having to move because of safety reasons.” In their video, they were asking for donations and Helix explained that they would buy solar panels and U-Haul trucks. Quiiroi explained that they need items such as solar panels, U-hauls, and even socks and underwear. Although she didn’t mention it, I’m sure they need food and other essentials as well.
Lee explained that the area they were in was not going to be safe and that they would have to leave. Please note, she did actually say name of the area it, but she spoke so fast that I couldn’t catch the name, so am referring to it as the area.
“The police are getting far too comfortable and we have to move closer to the reservation for safety. We believe the pipe may be laid anywhere between 48 to 72 hours. It’s a very very small window and we have a donation goal of $2,000,” Quiiroi said.
Now, before you think that, “well they shouldn’t be out there anyway — they should be at home or work,”‘ let me remind you that this land belongs to the Indigenous Peoples and that it is the USA and Enbridge who are violating their treaties. Imagine if the police came to your house and told you that you have to leave because this is their property now. Supposedly, we have Constitutional rights that protect us against that, but we can’t even honor our treaties with the Indigenous People who we stole land from (many were killed by colonization).
If you would like to donate to help Quiiroi and her friends, you can do so here. Quiiroi and her friends aren’t the only ones protesting Line 3 on TikTok. Modern Warrior shared a video by @Giiwedinindizhinikaaz or North Wind, whose primary focus is to stop Line 3.
In one video, he woke up to Enbridge workers and their noise. “What I am looking at is a complete disregard for treaty rights. A foreign multinational oil company prepping to drill under one of the sacred rivers of the Anishinaabeg. The tar sands oil that’ll be shooting through this pipeline is being sent over to China for the foreign economy. So the U.S. is just assuming all of the risks. Minnesota and its people are assuming all of the risks.”
Native Americans’ lands are still being colonized to this day. This land belongs to them, yet the U.S. is using it to please some corporations. All the pleas to President Biden have fallen on deaf ears. In June, Nexus Media reported that the Biden administration sided with Enbridge when it filed a brief asking a federal court to throw out a legal challenge from the tribes and environmental groups over the construction of Line 3.
Minnesota Public Radio reported that Enbridge received an amended permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, allowing them to pump nearly 10 times as much water from the ground to build the pipeline. So, not only did the administration ignore the pleas of the people whose treaty the U.S. is violating (again), but pretty much said, “do even more.”
Not only is this a slap in the face of Native Americans, but it’s a violation of their lands, treaties, and basic human rights. Most of the land that Line 3 is being built on includes 200 waterways that provide water for their rice crops and for drinking. One of those waterways is the headwaters of the Mississippi River, which is a source of drinking water for over 18 million people — myself included.
The Worst Is Yet To Come
I’m going to be honest: I think the worst is yet to come. Considering that Native Americans are being ignored and are watching their lands being taken by the U.S. and given to foreign corporations, the inevitable will happen. Line 3 will be built and it will devastate the land. I mean, there’s already been a spill!
I think that we have to change our strategy. Yes, we need to support Indigenous Peoples especially when they need our help, but we need to prepare for what is coming as well. Disasters will happen — Enbridge already proved this. The media will most likely ignore them unless they benefit from it somehow. There needs to be some type of plan to help Native Americans who might be escaping their lands due to an oil spill.