Line 3 drilling under more than 20 river crossings sees more protests

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Mille Lacs elder Tania Aubid (center) participates in a Camp Migizi-organized blockade of Enbridge’s Gowan Pump Station near Floodwood, MN. August 20, 2021. 

Photos/text by Chris Trinh / Environmental Indigenous Network

Enbridge, a Canadian multinational company, is constructing its Line 3 oil pipeline across Anishinaabe land in northern Minnesota to carry tar sands from Alberta, Canada to Superior, WI. An indigenous-led movement has been ongoing for years, with protests ramping up this past summer as drilling under 20 river crossings began.

Camp Migizi, Namewag, Welcome Water Protectors Center, Shell Camp, Manoomin Camp and Red Lake Treaty Camp are among the resistance camps that formed along the pipeline route in Minnesota in order to provide a home base for water protectors fighting the pipeline.

Water protectors lock down to construction equipment, form peaceful blockades to raise awareness about violation of indigenous sovereignty, destruction of nature, and that the MN DNR granted Enbridge permits to pump 5 billion gallons of water during a historic drought.

Over 800 protestors have been arrested while trying to stop the pipeline. For this type of climate activism, more than 80 of these arrestees are being charged with felony theft, and could face years in prison.

Red Lake Nation members and allies protest Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline on the Middle River in Northern Minnesota. Middle River is a tributary of the Red Lake River and protected under 1863 Indigenous Treaty Rights. July 19, 2021.
Young leaders Quiiroi (left) and Sonny (right) participate in a ceremony and direct action at Red Lake Treaty Camp, August 3, 2021. Both have red hand prints over their faces, a symbol of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement. Man camps of Enbridge workers have increased sex trafficking/missing persons cases in Minnesota.
Water protectors from Camp Migizi lock together on top of a pipe, stopping construction at an Enbridge work site near the I-35 freeway south of Cloquet, MN. August 23, 2021.
Water protectors Gabe and Rainbow during a peaceful blockade at Red Lake Treaty Camp, July 23, 2021. Police arrested leaders and arrested those participating in a peaceful blockade. 
Indigenous protestors face off with the police at Red Lake Treaty Camp, August 3, 2021, located by an Enbridge drill site on the Red Lake River. Under the 1863 Old Crossing Treaty, the Red Lake Nation has treaty rights to the land alongside
waterways that are tributaries of Red Lake.