FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 11, 2018
This morning, Indigenous resistance to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline expansion set up a prayer
camp in Treaty 1 territory near Gretna, Manitoba, meters away from the Canadian/United States border.
Spirit of the Buffalo Camp was established by lighting a sacred fire and conducting a
sunrise ceremony, and is situated along the route for the Line 3 pipeline.
Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline “replacement” project is the corporation’s largest project in history.
Enbridge is marketing the project as a necessary “replacement” of an older pipeline, but the new pipeline will be nearly double the current capacity, making this project a significant expansion.
Enbridge also plans to leave most of the older pipeline to decay in the ground.
Spirit of the Buffalo camp demands that Enbridge stop building the pipeline because it does not have free, prior and informed consent of all Indigenous peoples along the route, and is a direct violation of the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights. The camp also demands that Enbridge remove the current Line 3 pipeline instead of leaving it to decay in the ground.
The camp also calls for an end to tar sands expansion and infrastructure that will lock humanity into future carbon emissions the planet cannot afford in the face of climate change.
This land defense effort joins several other Indigenous-led camps across the colonial border in Minnesota along the Line 3 route, such as the Turtle Island camp, and Honor the Earth - the latter being led by renowned Anishnaabeg land defender, author, and speaker, Winona LaDuke.
The camp stands in solidarity with White Earth, Winona LaDuke’s home reserve, where Line 3 threatens the rice fields that are unique in the world and that have sustained the community for thousands of years.
“We have to have faith that as human beings we can - and will - do the right thing” says
Geraldine McManus, the Dakota two-spirit organizer who lit the sacred fire at the Spirit of the Buffalo camp this morning. McManus was also one of the many organizers at Standing Rock.
“Everyone is welcome to join if they come in a good way. If you cannot be here in person,
support us in prayer.”
Working in solidarity with the Indigenous-led camp are Manitobans from different backgrounds, such allies from nearby Mennonite communities and the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition.
In 2016, despite his promises to the contrary, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved
Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program.
In late June of this year, Minnesota regulators approved Enbridge’s Line 3, amidst
widespread opposition from Indigenous nations, climate activists, and community
members across the state. With this decision, it is once again clear that we cannot rely
on colonial governments and regulators to make the right choices when it comes to
protecting our rights to safe water, land, and climate. It is up to us to stand up to
governments and corporations in defense of these rights, in solidarity with those on the
frontlines of this project.
Line 3 is a new oil pipeline — with a predicted price tag of $8.2 billion — set to be built
along the route of a smaller, existing pipeline operated by the Calgary-based oil and gas
giant Enbridge. It runs from the Alberta oil sands, across the prairies and through
southern Manitoba, ending at the shores of Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin.
The new pipeline has been billed as a replacement for the existing, aging infrastructure,
but in reality is a massive expansion that will nearly double the capacity from what
Enbridge says is a low of 390,000 barrels of crude oil per day to 760,000 barrels a day.
This pipeline means expansion of the tar sands. Full stop. It locks us into use of fossil
fuels for 50+ years. It threatens our climate, water, land, and communities. It violates
Indigenous rights, and is widely opposed by many Nations along the route.
It is clear that our governments have taken the side of industry, prioritizing pipeline
profits over people. We must not take their approvals as a final answer. We must
demand a rapid transition off of fossil fuels. It is not only the safety and well-being of us
as individuals, but the health of the planet and the lives of future generations that are at
Now frontline land defenders are leading the way to defend their ancestral lands and
waters, in peaceful resistance to this project. They are calling on all people on Treaty 1
territory and across this country, to take action by joining the resistance, donating,
sharing the message, and supporting their efforts in whatever way possible. Come
protect with us in prayer on the Line.