Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Enbridge and the Takeover of Red Lake Land

On February 28, 2013, a .45 acre of Red Lake ceded land became the focus of Anishinaabe land defenders and pipeline activists. Led by Red Lake member Marty Cobenais, the Nizhawendaamin Inaakiminaan (We Love Our Land) group established an encampment over the Enbridge pipelines at Leonard, Minnesota. Cobenais said at the time, “We plan to camp on this land until the pipelines cease to pump oil through them.”

Although the encampment wasn’t sanctioned by the Red Lake Tribal Council, a Red Lake District Representative visited the site and informed Cobenais that the pipelines were illegally on Red Lake land and the council wanted them removed.

A sacred fire was lit and a medicine pole was erected. The camp continued through the late winter into the early fall. It was supported by environmentalist and activist groups including the Indigenous Environmental Network and MN350.

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