#sNoLine3 is a grassroots, allied campaign to the indigenous-led opposition of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 Tar Sands Oil Pipeline “Replacement” Project being proposed to cross the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, the sacred Wild Rice (Manoomin) Lakes and Ceded Treaty Territories of the Anishinaabe in Northern Minnesota.
#sNoLine3’s Primary Goals
Engage Skiers, Snowboarders and the Active-Outdoor Industry in the opposition of Enbridge Energy’s proposed Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline “Replacement” Project and encourage participation in the broader conversation about the climate crisis facing our species.
Strengthen broad-based public support in the Twin Cities Metro for on-the-ground, #StandingRock-style Non-Violent Direct Actions to stop construction IF Enbridge Energy begins construction (with or without proper permits).
Educate Minnesotans about the cultural impacts of Line 3 as it pertains to Anishinaabe ways of life.
Offer diversity in tactics used by activists inside the #StopLine3 movement.
Build momentum for future spring/summer #StopLine3 resistance efforts across Minnesota based on the outcomes of the Line 3 Legal Process.
Beyond “Climate Crisis”: a Cultural Conversation
Most of the #sNoLine3 campaign and this website has been intentionally designed to be fun and light-hearted. With that being said, the root-causes of this resistance to the Line 3 Replacement Project, through the indigenous perspective, are anything but fun and light-hearted.
When “settlers” (colonizers) arrived on Turtle Island (North America) it began what is arguably the largest genocide known in human history carried out on the indigenous people who had been living on these lands for thousands and thousands of years. Over 100 million indigenous people from tribes across modern-day North America were murdered, killed-off by disease, and starved to death as colonizing forces expanded under such ideologies as “Manifest Destiny” and the “Doctrine of Discovery.”
As the United States of America was formed in an effort to escape the oppression of British colonial rule the oppressed became the oppressors, building the foundations of our present empire on the backs of slavery and cultural genocide.
As the newly formed United States stampeded across the continent they came in contact with Tribal Nations, frequently signing “Treaties” to avoid conflict, bloodshed, and resource wars. These “Treaties”, considered the “Supreme Law of the Land” by the US Constitution, have been violated in just about every single way imaginable. One could argue, literally, that not one single Treaty the United States Government signed with ANY Indigenous group in North America has been upheld.
Native American “Reservations” were created by the US Government, and still function today, as albeit prison camps. The “Tribal Governments” in power on these reservations, by and large, resemble nothing of the traditional organizing structures of the Tribes and Nations within them.
We, as Minnesotans, are neighbors to the Anishinaabe people who had traditionally lived across the regions of what we now call our “State” and parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, and southern Canada. In 1855 and 1854, prior to the establishment of Minnesota as a State, the US Government signed several treaties with the Ojibwe/Anishinaabe people that defined the bounds of our Country’s “territory”.
These treaties, very clearly, define regions where the proposed Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project cross as “Ceded” Territories. The re-building of Line 3 on the route it has been approved, without question, violates International Treaty Law and the Treaties the United States signed in 1854 & 1855 as it affects the Anishinaabe’s unrestricted rights to hunt, fish and gather on these lands.
Further, the Anishinaabe have a central understanding with Creator stemming from their creation stories. Originally inhabiting the Eastern coast of Turtle Island, Creator instructed the Anishinaabe to travel West to where the food grows on water. It was in this region, the present day Upper Midwest and into Canada, where the Anishinaabe found the Manoomin, the “Good Berry”, which you know today as Wild Rice. Having found the Manoomin, the food growing on water, the understanding the Anishinaabe have with Creator is that if they protect the Manoomin, the Manoomin will protect them. The protecting of the Manoomin and the Wild Rice Lakes across Northern Minnnesota, is one of the most sacred of responsibilities the Anishinaabe have on the Red Road, or, during this part of the journey where the spirit resides in a body on the physical plane.
As activists and organizers engaged in the opposition of Line 3, we understand that the discussion of such ideas as the above simply goes over the heads of many yet-unwilling to engage with such concepts. These are extremely hard conversations to have. Many Minnesotans, when they see us in the streets “Protesting” Line 3 with statements like, “Water is Life” and “Love Water Not Oil” they almost immediately dismiss any idea of enaging with the heart of what is going on. Many will not understand that our First Nations brothers and sisters here today, standing against Line 3 in peace and prayer with love in their hearts, are those who have survived 400+ years of cultural genocide and are, to this day, still trying to protect ALL OF US as they know we are all related and that water is, cliche or not, the source of all life on the planet.