Gov. Walz shuts down the Capitol in preparation for the arrival of Treaty People

August 24, 2021

By Barbara With and Rebecca Kemble

The Treaty People Walk for Water left northern Minnesota on August 7 on a 256 mile journey from the Mississippi headwaters to the Minnesota State Capitol. Wednesday, August 25 they will be joined by other water protectors in world-wide solidarity actions to protect the water from Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

Everlasting Wind (Dawn Goodwin), White Earth Tribal member and a member of the 1855 Treaty Council, established Fire Light Treaty Camp at the Mississippi headwaters earlier this summer to monitor Enbridge’s drilling under the river. Tribal members and their guests witnessed five frac outs and were subjected to constant harassment by pipeline supporters.

Here Everlasting Wind describes the impact of Enbridge’s actions.

White Earth, Red Lake and other Ojibwe tribal members have been actively engaged in state and federal regulatory processes for Line 3 for more than seven years. They have consistently asserted their treaty rights guaranteed by Article Six of the U.S. Constitution, arguing that constructing a tar sands pipeline through the water-rich environment of their homelands threatens their very means of subsistence, namely wild rice.

After years of adhering to process and still being ignored, they come the Capitol to demand the shut down of Line 3 based on the violation of the 1855 Treaty. When running for governor in 2017, Tim Walz told the Tribes that “any line that goes through treaty lands is a non-starter for me.”

Since becoming governor, Walz’ administration has allowed Line 3 to move forward, including the permitting of five billion gallons of water to Enbridge in the middle of the drought. In preparation for the arrival of the walkers, Gov. Walz shut down the Capitol to members of the public, blocked all roads surrounding the building and erected concrete barriers and chain-link fences around the building to prevent access.

The walkers plan to arrive at 2 PM for a rally and a feast on the Capitol grounds. For more information on events this week, check out Treaty Not Tar Sands.

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