Jul 11, 2014 - Honor the Earth Environmental Features: Wild Rice and Oil Pipelines‏ by Winona LaDuke

Today on Honor the Earth Environmental Features, we hear from community members about the practice of ricing and the potential impacts of a pipeline on the bountiful ricing lakes of the North Country. The North Dakota Pipeline Company or the Enbridge Corporation, has proposed a route for a new pipeline that would be transporting hydraulically fractured oil from the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota, on the territories of the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara people, to the homelands and ricing lakes of the Anishinaabe, in northern Minnesota.

Listen Honor the Earth Environmental Features: Wild Rice and Oil Pipelines‏ here https://soundcloud.com/honortheearth/wild-rice-and-oil-pipelines

Representative Ed Markey of Massachusets, said about the company proposing this and many other pipelines threatening Native lands all over, “Enbridge is fast becoming to the Midwest what BP was to the Gulf of Mexico, posing troubling threats to the environment” (1). Enbridge has a long track record of spills, 804 spills taking place between 1999 and 2010, including the 2012 Kalamazoo River spill in Michigan, the largest inland oil spill, which released 843,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo river (2).

Between Gretna, Manitoba and Clearbrook, Minnesota, there are 8 Enbridge pipelines already in just 160 miles of land, and now Enbridge is proposing 3 pipeline expansions, Line 3, Line 67 and the Southern Lights increase, and an entirely new pipeline, the Sandpiper. This would be an increase of over 1,000,000 barrels of oil per day. The total amount of oil traveling over northern Minnesota lands would be nearly 4,000,000 barrels per day, or 168,000,000 gallons. This is 200 times more than the amount of oil spilled in the Kalamazoo spill.

On this show, we will hear from concerned community members who came out to celebrate the start of ricing season and to oppose these pipelines, to “canoe for creation and paddle for protection” in late June 2014, on the Big Bear Landing on Rice Lake on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. Over 50 people came out to this action “in defense of Indigenous treaty rights and the earth”, dressed in their best Anishinaabe attire, with canoes, ricing poles and knockers, paddles, drums and food to share.

Community organizer Michael Dahl describes the connection between the Anishinaabeg and the wild rice, the current state of affairs with Enbridge and the different processes that community members and organizations are undertaking, in opposition, and ends with a powerful story about standing up and protecting the wild rice, the water and everyone and everything to whom these lakes are vital.

Winona interviewed White Earth conservation officer Alfred Fox, about the bountiful ricing in the lakes, the re-seeding efforts of the tribe, to maintain not only the rice in White Earth but also to support ricing in other territories, and what he thinks about the proposed pipeline.

Winona also talks to people at Rice Lake, about “what does this lake mean to you?” Their first-hand accounts describe the importance of the lake, of the rice, of the water, from the people who live in the community, rice and fish in the lakes, and drink the water. Each speaker shares their concerns about what impacts a pipeline would have.

Dawn Goodwin from White Earth talks about what the lakes and the wild rice means to her. She describes another community’s fight against Enbridge, Dawn talks about a camp that was set up to oppose the pipelines proposed to run through Red Lake lands, that still stands to this day, and the need to stand in solidarity with First Nations people of the north, who are fighting the deadly tar sands developments.

Today’s show also includes a message from Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, about the Enbridge Corporation’s proposed Sandpiper Pipeline.

For more on Honor the Earth’s campaign against the Sandpiper, please visit: www.honorearth.org/action_alert_stop_the_sandpiper

Also see a recent article by Winona LaDuke, “New Indian Wars Coming to Rice Lake”: indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06…-155522


1. http://democrats.naturalresources.house.gov/press-release/markey-michigan-enbridge-canadian-pipeline-incident-means-more-canadian-oil-spilled

2. http://www.ienearth.org/docs/AlbertaClipperReport.pdf

Last Real Indians