Encampment in MN to Shut Down Pipeline #RLBlockade

Day 3 Tipi went up on pipeline


Thursday 6pm CDT  I will stream a report about #RLBlockade and the history of Embridge in the Midwest.  #Embridge http://www.livestream.com/tshirtToby

Jenna Pope has been at the Red Lake Encampment for a couple days now and has put up some wonderful pictures and info on her blog at Jennapope.com check it out

Summary of Nizhawendaamin Inaakiminaan  (We Love Our Land)
(Summary updated 3/4/13 – recent updates below)

An Encampment on top of the Enbridge oil pipeline at the Red Lake sovereign nation began Thursday afternoon. Nizhawendaamin Inaakiminaan (We Love Our Land) a group of Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, joined by blockaders and solidarity activists set up camp in snow covered northern Minnesota on top of the pipeline called “Line 67.”  This pipeline will, and may have already start flowing tar sands oil down from Alberta, Canada.  It was installed over 60 years ago without the permission of the sovereign nation that it now runs through.  They do not want it there any more.

Proposals to expand Line 67’s capacity are in the state legislature right now.  It is 60 years old and has a history of leaks.  There is still oil in the ground down stream from a previous spill that has never been cleaned up because it is under railroad tracks.  It is supposed to be underground but in some swampy areas it is above ground.  ATV and snowmobiles run over the exposed pipeline frequently.

Because of this action Embridge Oil will have to shut down the pipeline after 72 hours due to regulations.  If people are living within a certain range of a pipeline it must be shut down.  (Update: Those 72 hours have passed and the oil still flows)  The tribal police have told them that they can stay.  The encampment is being done in the spirit of many actions happening in Canada and the #Idle No More movement.  They are building snow shelters, camping stoves, and have received generous contributions of firewood.

The most interesting tail to come out of the encampment Thursday is that of a helicopter pilot and employee of Embridge flew overhead and then landed.  He was surveying the pipeline and decided to drop off some coffee to the encampment.  He told them how he grew up near a reservation in Canada and supports what they were doing and flew away.

These people aren’t moving.  Embridge will fight to keep the pipeline open. It is on sovereign land. Something is going to give.  This could turn out to be the most effective pipeline protest in America today.

As this situation develops I will be linking together reports, stories, and videos here. There is plenty of people getting out stuff from there including streaming from Unedited Camera, reports from Twin Cities Indymedia and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Follow #RLBlockade on twitter and also  @Uneditedcamera @BatmanWI Have been reporting on the blockade. Map of the reservation nearest town to the Encampment, Leonard has a population of 41.

Jenna Pope had been at the Red Lake Encampment for a couple days and has put up some wonderful pictures and info on her blog at Jennapope.com check it out


Talkupy Interview

#Rlblockade Leader Marty was interviewed buy Talkuppy 10am CST listen.

Good Articles and Unedited Heading Home

Unedited Camera, is heading home after being on site since the encampment started.  His streaming updates, twitter posts and news releases has kept people informed and allowed people like me to put all this information together.  My hardiest thanks and you all should thank him to.

The snow storm that moved into the area has cleared away and left about 8 inches of snow on the ground.  The sacred fire that has remained lit since the start of encampment is still burning   Everyone is fine if a bit cold and wet.

Bemidji Pioneer article about encampent Via @KXLBlockade

A few people will be heading out from the Twin Cities to Red Lake this Thursday including Jenna Pope, an activist and photojournalist and Gillette West who has been fighting Tar Sands oil coming through Minnesota as part of the North Star Energy Coalition. I am hoping to be heading up there soon for a week.

A few local media outlets have had wonderful articles about this encampment with details I cannot get being from a distance. These should be read and shared to get even more attention to the cause.

Red Lake Nation News

Bemidji Pioneer
Protesters camp near pipeline in hopes of dialogue with Enbridge

Photos from the Encampment

Wandering in the storm Via @Uneditedcamera

Getting bedding ready for a shelter. Via @Uneditedcamera
An improved shelter Via @Uneditedcamera 

16 year old drummer and singer sharing his drum and song.
Via @Uneditedcamera

New Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=djUv9Q9nTnk

Press Release:

Leonard, MN
Nizhawendaamin Inaakiminaan (We Love Our Land) is a group of Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, joined by blockaders and solidarity activists. The encampment is located in Northern Minnesota near the town of Leonard. Tom Poorbear, vice president of the Ogalala Sioux Nation declared, “We fully support the Red Lake Nation and its members who are opposing the Enbridge pipeline to stop the flow and remove the illegal pipeline from their land.” The occupation of the Red Lake Ceded Land began Thursday, February 28. Similar action camps around the United States have been fighting the fossil fuel industry to stop the destruction of sacred lands. Red Lake tribal members demand the immediate shutdown of the flow through the pipes and intend to remain on the land until their demand is met. “I imagine everyone involved in the planetwide resistance to fossil fuel is watching them with thanks,” said Bill McKibben founder of 350.org and leader of the recent Forward on Climate Rally.

Chief Bill Erasmus of the Dene First Nation stated, “We fully support and are inspired by the Red Lake members and their resistance as it is stated in the Mother Earth Accord; affirming our responsibility to protect and preserve for our descendents, the inherent sovereign rights of our indigenous nations, the rights of property owners, and all inherent human rights.” Most band members were unaware of Enbridge’s illegal activity until the encampment started. “When I was informed about the illegal trespassing of the company Enbridge on my homeland, I knew there was something I could do. I started calling as many Red Lakers as I could to try and make them aware,” said Angie Palacio who initiated the encampment with the support of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Reported by Unedited Media
As knowledge of the Situation spreads more support for the encampment and anger at Embridge increases. 

Pot of soup donated by locals.  Keeping water from freezing.
Via @Uneditedcamera

Storm Coming

A storm front is moving in. There is a winter storm watch for the area.  Starting late tonight and all day tomorrow 3-8 inches snow will fall.  Watch the weather for Bemidji MN for most accurate weather of the encampment.  They are chopping wood and preparing for a cold and very windy day tomorrow.

New message supposed to be coming out today. Will post as soon as it is released.

@Uneditedcamera chopping wood to prepare for the storm via @SamRichards10

Tipi is up. More info on history.

The pipelines have been there since the 1950’s owned constructed and operated by Lakeshead gas now Embridge. The pipelines were laid prior to the Red Lake Tribal Council having knowledge of the ownership of the land and the Indigenous of it. The Red Lake Tribal Council had been dealing with this issue for over 2 years. Enbridge offered to buy the land and Red Lake has a history of never selling their land, they know the value of the lands. The Red Lake Band demanded Enbridge to evacuate the pipelines off their lands in 2012. Now the case is in litigation at this time. Enbridge offered them 350,000 dollars for the easement and the tribe said that offer was an insult.  Enbridge has not responded to the encampment yet and the oil still flows.

There have been some tensions within the tribal council, protesters, and the tribe members.  The all seem to want the same thing.  I am getting information 3rd and 4th hand on this so won’t comment further.

The encampment is still going strong.  Weather is cooperating.  Will keep adding Pictures and video as it comes out.

Encampment Continues Strong

Today the encampment has received support from neighboring tribes.  The Red Lake counsel has given their support to the encampment.  A few short broadcasts have come out of the area.  I am trying to get information on the 72 hour until pipeline shutdown.

Video – Enbridge encampment update 3/1/2013

2/28/13 6PM

By @UneditedCamera

Snow shelters are being built.  Fire is warming protesters.  They are settling in for a long fight.  The reservation police said they can stay.

By @SamRichards10

2/28/13 4PM
I have changed to use the word encampent to better reflect wishes of those there.

I reiterate, this isn’t a blockade. No trucks, rail-lines are being blockaded. I think “blockade” is an inflammatory word to use.

Video of helicopter landing at blockade from Enbridge http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29630486

Press release from the blockade.
 2/28/13 2:30 PM

Contact: Deanna Lasley (218)-766-4500
Tito Ybarra (218)-209-6918
Marty Cobenais (218)-760-0284
Date: February 28th, 2013


Enbridge Energy LP has been trespassing on Red Lake Nations Ceded lands in Minnesota by operating multiple pipelines without an easement. Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan, a group of grassroots Red Lake tribal members and allies, demand that the flow of oil through these pipelines be stopped. Enbridge Energy LP purchased these oil pipelines from Lakehead Pipeline, who originally built these pipelines in 1949 on Red Lake land without obtaining the permission of the Red Lake sovereign nation. According to Marty Cobenais, pipeline organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network and a tribal member of Red Lake, “Enbridge Energy LP still does not have permission to have these pipelines” on an eight acre piece of Red Lake land just southeast of Leonard, Minnesota.

Today Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan have occupied the land directly over these pipelines on Red Lake land. They demand that these pipelines be shut down immediately. “The goal is to stand in solidarity not only with our first Nation brothers and sisters in Canada but also to protect our Mother Earth and all of our children and future generations on this earth,” says Tito Ybarra, a member of Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan and an enrolled member of the Red Lake band of Ojibwe.



5 thoughts on “Encampment in MN to Shut Down Pipeline #RLBlockade

  1. I think this is great, and I hope the U.S. can one day get rid of greed altogether. We can all co-exist in a non-greedy environment where the majority of votes actually do count like they always should! In other words, no more $9 million EVERY day flowing from lobbyists into Congress in D.C. to buy favors like environmentally destructive bills or adding more toxins to our food without our consumer consent!


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