Two Indigenous Water Protectors Ascend Trees and Stop Line 3 Construction

cross-posted from the Giniw Collective

July 7, 2021

Two Indigenous Water Protectors Ascend Trees and Stop Line 3 Construction

(Lake Washburn, MN) Today, 2 Indigenous water protectors blockaded an Enbridge Line 3 worksite in tree sits directly anchored to the pipeline, while 2 others crawled into a pipeline segment. The sits follow 14 lockdowns at another Line 3 worksite last week, including one Indigenous matriarch.
Enbridge has begun drilling rivers across northern Minnesota, including the Willow River, where it appears construction hit an aquifer while drilling yesterday. Drilling mud was documented spreading into the river as a “spill kit” sat ashore.
Police repression has dramatically escalated in recent weeks, as Hubbard County sheriffs blockaded Namewag camp and continue to randomly issue citations since the initial riot line. One vehicle was cited while attempting a water delivery to the private property encampment.
Over 500 people have been arrested to date fighting Line 3 destruction of Anishinaabe treaty territory and expansion of the fossil fuel industry as climate crisis rages across the planet.
JD, White Earth Anishinaabe, said, “At this point it should be obvious why anyone would take action against the fossil fuel industry. The ocean is on fire, heat waves are killing people by the hundreds. We are in the middle of an extreme drought, our wild rice beds, lakes and rivers are drying up. And while they dig up our Mother for Line 3, the bodied of our relatives are being dug up from the grounds of boarding schools. They are people who were taken from us as children, who never got to have children of their own, to live their lives. I am thinking of generations of relatives that are not here with us. My elders, aunties, uncles, cousins, and peers I will never know on this Earth. But my Grandma survived and that’s why I am still here, proud to be Anishinaabe. These colonial governments have done everything they can to kill our land, kill our culture, kill our people, but they will never kill our spirit. We will never go willingly to our own destruction. So today I sit in the path of this pipeline, tomorrow it could be you.”
From inside the pipe, Water Protector Magpie said, “As a descendant of settlers, it’s my job to stand up to white supremacy, and doing what I can to disrupt projects like Enbridge’s Line 3, which perpetuates climate chaos and brings destruction and violence to Anishinaabe territory is part of that. We must do everything we can. We are running out of time.”
Giniw Collective is an Indigenous-women, 2-Spirit led frontline resistance to protect our Mother, defend the sacred and live in balance. We stand unafraid. Prayers into action. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @GiniwCollective

Water Protectors Shut Down Line 3 Drilling Under the Willow River

Water Protectors Shut Down Drilling Under the Willow River



(Palisade, MN) — 07/06/2021 — Early Tuesday morning, dozens of water protectors standing in solidarity with Indigenous-led resistance shut down work at a Line 3 construction site by locking themselves to equipment and building several blockades on access roads. Two people surrounded by flowers locked themselves inside of a vehicle, while two others locked to drilling equipment inside the site. Dozens more joined Indigenous matriarchs Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth, and Tania Aubid to stand in the river in prayer. Over 500 water protectors have been arrested since construction began as resistance to the pipeline continues to escalate.

Tania Aubid, speaking from the river, said, “Minnesota, you will be held accountable along with the Federal and Canadian governments for the genocide of Mother Earth”.

This action took place at the Willow River, a part of the Mississippi watershed, where the Canadian corporation Enbridge is attempting to drill under the waterbody using a technique known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The method carries the risk of discharging drilling mud and chemicals into the river, known as a “frac out”. Enbridge calls this construction a “replacement project”, omitting the fact that the new Line 3 pipeline is larger and would nearly double its capacity to carry oil. Opponents of the project say the risk to water is unacceptable, as the new route crosses through hundreds of acres of wetlands and over 200 bodies of water.

Taysha Martineau, speaking about the action, said, “We can not allow them to take these rivers, Enbridge was given a cease-and-desist notice in order to protect the ceremonial lodge. The state of Minnesota has refused to abide by that order and so action was taken. Abide by the order or we will continue to use people power to shut it down”.

One of the water protectors locked down inside the site said, “Line 3 is a catastrophic threat to the land, the water, the people, wild rice, and the climate. This pipeline violates the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe and is not being built with Indigenous consent. Enbridge has a long history of spills, many of which occur in the first 10 years of a pipeline operating. They do not care about the land, the people, or their workers. They only care about the money, so we are putting pressure on their pocketbooks by slowing the progress of Line 3 until we stop it altogether. Polluted water, land, and rapid climate change are threats to us all, and Line 3 will cause unpredictable levels of damage if it becomes active. Actions like this one are a fight for all of our survival, and should be seen as nothing less.”


Additional photos and interviews with movement leadership available upon request.

Fairy Creek: Forest defenders take back Waterfall Camp

Day 46 of Police Enforcement
Day 329 of Direct Action Protecting Vancouver Island’s Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Ancestral Pacheedaht and Ditidaht Territories
4 total arrests today
356 arrests to date and counting.
Today we had a huge victory. Despite confusion earlier in the week about reducing numbers at camp (to be clear, we are NOT, and we need you now more than ever), we have managed to take back Waterfall Camp!
At about 5:30 this morning, forest defenders near Waterfall Camp executed an action that had been planned for weeks.
A small group of blockaders bushwhacked down the hill and recovered a completed tripod they had earlier stashed from the bushes. Running with three 20 foot lengths of wood on their backs, they picked a spot on the road right after the turn off to Waterfall Camp. They knew they had a narrow window of opportunity and worked quickly to get the tripod set up before police arrived. It broke twice before they succeeded.
One defender recounted, “Third time’s a charm. We hoisted her up there right as the cops arrived. Like, literally a 10 or 20 second thing. It was in [r]ight in the nick of time.”
An RCMP officer driving a canopied ATV attempted to drive under the tripod before forest defenders advised him of how much danger he was putting the tripod sitter in. An RCMP pickup showed up just as the sitter got onto the top.
Once the tripod was erected and occupied, more than 30 defenders came out of the bushes and surprised the RCMP positioned right at Waterfall Camp. Walking past the police barricade, they set up a log contraption with a hole through the centre for a defender to lock into called a “Carebear” immediately behind the last RMCP vehicle, trapping the vehicles and a few officers behind an arbitrary line of our own.
Once the officers realized they were trapped, they began negotiating with us. We allowed one of their vehicles to drive some of the distance back down the road and a few of their officers to bring food and water up to their trapped colleagues in exchange for the release of our first arrest for the day, a support person who was arrested without warning for simply providing water to a tripod sitter.
As of this writing, there is still a police vehicle trapped behind our barricades up at Waterfall.
The BC NDP is spending untold sums of money on enforcing this injunction. Helicopters are circling every day for much of the day. Upwards of 40 officers are sent to every enforcement. Specialized extraction tools. For what? To allow another company to destroy the land and make heat waves, climate change, and the current mass extinction more severe? For an industry that not only doesn’t make BC money, but COSTS us? The BC NDP gives $365,000,000 on average to the forestry industry every year.
Meanwhile, the Town of Lytton has burned to the ground. The NDP has not given a cent in relief money. Many First Nations around Canada don’t have clean drinking water RIGHT NOW. Almost 500 people have died from the heat wave. Why is this enforcement what the NDP chooses to spend our tax money on? Where is our climate resilience? Where is our climate justice?
We can stop this, but we need your help.
Numbers have gotten low due to a misunderstanding about reducing our presence. The need to have a strong presence at camps could not be more urgent. If you don’t join us in person this week, we may lose HQ. Police have been scoping the place out and commenting on how low numbers are. We love you, and thanks for everything you’ve done.
Come to camp.
Join us at Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx) HQ!! Please arrive prepared to self-sufficiently camp overnight. Arrestees and non-arrestees are needed DAILY.
Read our pre-arrival info sheet:
Worried about getting arrested? Here’s some educational information:
Backcountry hikers/campers, climbers, tradesmen, kitchen, visitor services, logistics, you name it, we need it! Come prepared to wield your unique skillset & creativity for the betterment of the movement. It is up to YOU to figure out where and how you can be most useful. Get up in it! Visit different camps! Meet people! Ask around!! Find gaps!!!
Communications, social media management, research, fundraising, content creation, graphic design, video editing, writing, outreach, admin, legal, strategy, local organization, the list goes on. Got skills? Got heart? We’d love your help!
Fill out our intake form now:
-Support for supplies and legal fees:
-Current list of supplies & physical donations required:
Check with your local Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, or any other activist group focused on protecting our future and Indigenous sovereignty. If there aren’t any in your area, rally a few friends and start your own!
Check this page:
Find your MLA’s number here:
We are developing a network of health practitioners to help forest defenders both on and off site. If you are willing to offer healing help, sign up here:
-Link to all ancient forest petitions: MLA Action Toolkit

Four Indigenous Climbers Arrested After Mounting “LANDBACK” Flag From 100 Ft Dakota Mills Grain Silo 

Photo Courtesy of NDN Collective.

cross-posted from the NDN Collective

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 4th, 2021
Contact: Cabot Petoia,, 828-899-9239

Four Indigenous Climbers Arrested After Mounting “LANDBACK” Flag From 100 Ft Dakota Mills Grain Silo

Action Calls Out Hypocrisy of July 4th, Uplifts Demand for Reparations and Justice

** Pictures available **

** To book an interview, contact **

Rapid City, SD — Today, Indigenous climbers representing 10 different Nations from Turtle Island and Palestine were arrested for confronting the legacy of white supremacy that is commemorated every 4th of July. Climbers ascended the 100-ft Dakota Mills Grain silo and mounted an upside down American flag with “LANDBACK” written prominently across it.

NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign team released the following statement:

“An upside-down flag represents being in distress and is a prominent symbol across Indian Country; we have just celebrated the Battle of Little Bighorn, and at that battle the three sister nations of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho defeated General Custer and the 7th Calvary. In that battle, they claimed the American flag from the defeated US army. That flag belongs to us. Today, we refute the dominant narrative that the American flag represents a legacy of freedom, democracy, and equality.

“This day is nothing to celebrate for the Indigenous peoples here, or anywhere else the United States has consumed through imperialism. LANDBACK is not a metaphor, it is our present reality and our future struggle; there is no repair or justice until Indigenous peoples reclaim our land. This place, the Black Hills, represents the entire cycle of life and deserves nothing less than Return.

“Today, we stand with our people, who are in distress, to speak the truth of what the 4th of July means in Mniluzahan, or so-called ‘Rapid City.’ The self-declared “City of Presidents” honors the legacy of past United States leadership on one hand, while brutalizing the original peoples and caretakers of the land on the other.

“Last year, on July 3rd, we saw Indigenous peoples brutalized and arrested by police atop our own sacred site and treaty lands, the Black Hills. 21 people were arrested, including NDN Collective’s President and CEO, Nick Tilsen, who is Oglala Lakota. Tilsen is still fighting the extreme charges filed against him over a year ago, having recently filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on prosecutorial misconduct and constitutional rights violations.

“However, we know that the system that continues to legally persecute Tilsen and others demanding justice and LANDBACK for Indigenous peoples is fundamentally unjust.

“This legacy of white supremacy is commemorated every 4th of July and is built from the same tenants of colonial violence that carry out the brutalization, repression, and unjust incarceration of our relatives in Mniluzahan and beyond. The same colonial violence is why we are currently unearthing hundreds and thousands of our children at boarding schools both in the so-called United States and in so-called Canada, which is why orange armbands are worn in remembrance. We contend that this American system, the Rapid City Police Department, and its supporters are the perpetrators of this structure of violence and it is for this reason that we aim to bring a different narrative to the forefront today.

“Our demands go beyond recognition that Mt. Rushmore, as an effigy to white supremacy created by a Kloncilium member — the decision-making body within the KKK — is desecrating our sacred place. We demand the dismantling of injustice and reparations for historic and ongoing violence. We demand the Return of the Black Hills, dignity and haven for our unsheltered relatives, justice for our people who are brutalized by police and routinely incarcerated, and justice for our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. We demand reparations for our Black relatives whose ancestors were ___ through chattel slavery and who are persecuted by the American system today.

“LANDBACK is not a metaphor, it is our present reality and our future struggle. There is no repair or justice until Indigenous peoples reclaim our land. The Black Hills are not just a sacred place because it’s a significant cultural site, it’s a sacred place because it gives life and what is life-giving is sacred. We used to drink clean water here, harvested our medicines here, fell in love here, got married here, gave birth here, mourned our loved ones here. This place, the Black Hills, represents the entire cycle of life and deserves nothing less than Return.”


Climber Quotes:

“I came here today to support and be of service to my community and relatives here and around the world. We must bring LANDBACK to the forefront, shout it out loud and claim it publicly so that we can unmask the reality that we are living across Turtle Island, something that so many people choose not to pay attention to. I want everyone to engage in what it means to demand a different reality, to undo the legacy of US hegemony” – Tytianna Harris, climber

“We are done with the false narratives and erasure of our very existence. On this day, we demand an acknowledgement of the origins and foundation of this co called country…genocide, slavery and stolen land. There is no repair, justice or liberation without Indigenous LANDBACK. Let today be a notice, that we will not stop until we reclaim our rightful relationship to the land. The Black Hills gives life. Anyting that gives and sustains life, is sacred. We must do everything within our power to protect all that we hold sacred.

“LANDBACK is a movement that belongs to the People. As a caretaker & protector of the Black Hills, I call on all the Indigneous Peoples of the world who have been forcefully removed from their lands – at the hands of militarism, imperialism, capitalism & corportarism – to stand and join the struggle to get our LANDBACK!” – Krystal Two Bulls, NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign Director.

“This action marks a notch in the paradigm shift, one that has a long lineage, to highlight ongoing colonial violence and militarism to material demands tied to liberation. As the US continues to fund displacement and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, we highlight that the first frontier of the fight against US imperialism was and is here on Turtle Island. The fight for justice and LANDBACK is alive and well and it is growing. LANDBACK is the root of justice for what must come and it is the start of our collective demands. From Hawai’i, to Puerto Rico, to Guam, to the Black Hills, return all US-occupied lands and stop the US war machine abroad”- Nadya Tannous, NDN Collective’s LANDBACK Campaign Organizer

“Return Indigenous lands to Indigenous hands. Dismantle the systems that took our land in the first place. Because of these systems, Indigenous people are 10X more likely to be incarcerated than any white person in the state of South Dakota.  Indigenous people make up 9% of the population in the state, and somehow represent 51% of all incarcerated people in the state. This is ground zero for over-incarceration for Indigenous people. This is why here and why now, to create a different future.

“I am here for Indigenous youth. The ones forcibly taken from our people in the name of the American flag, forced into boarding schools by the American flag, the ones secretly buried under the flag, the ones that are just now being found. I’m grateful for the ones like my maternal grandparents who survived these atrocities…

“I’m doing this for the Indigenous youth of today, we love you, we’re here for you. We’re here to push against white supremacy & racism… to protect you until you are ready to lead. I’m here as a son of the Alcatraz Occupation like many of the relatives here who are the descendants of Wounded Knee. I’m here to pass that on to our youth like my aunt and mother who stood for us before we were born.

“I do not celebrate this flag. I recognize it as the flag of our people’s murderers, as the flag of the enslavers, the thieves who stole our lands, the liars who wrote these horrors out of their history books.” -Martin Aranaydo, Climber.


NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.