May 6, 2021
(Backus, MN) This morning, 11 protectors locked to each other in front of both entrances to Enbridge’s Backus, MN, man camp location to stop destruction of the sacred and stand against the community harms fossil fuels bring. Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit relatives is an epidemic throughout Indian Country. Many of the water protectors this morning are grandparents.
Thousands of out-of-state workers have poured into northern Minnesota, despite Enbridge’s promises to employ mostly in-state. It asserted 75% would be Minnesotans, the number of locals actually employed by the company sits at 33%.
The violence committed on our land becomes the violence committed on our people. A MMIW-sensitivity training session for workers here to destroy Indigenous land will never be enough. 3 Ojibwe nations are suing against approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 project. The Line 3 project should’ve never been approved and the unnecessary risks to local communities never experienced.
Alex Chatfield, a father and social worker from Massachusetts, said, “Together with other members of my Episcopal Church, I have been fighting to protect the Earth’s climate for my children and vulnerable people on the front lines of the climate emergency.”
Marla Marcum, a (co)Founder of the Climate Disobedience Center and a person of faith who lives on Cherokee lands in Knoxville’s, Tennessee, said, “I feel called to take this action in solidarity with the Indigenous leaders who defend the lands and waters that are most directly impacted by Line 3 and the communities who search for and mourn the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit relatives taken from them by pipeline construction man camps like this one.”
Rachel Wyon, a mother and climate justice advocate from Massachusetts, said, “I answered the call to stand with Indigenous mothers and grandmothers here fighting to Stop Line 3, demanding respect for their sovereign treaties and telling the world to wake up and stop the destruction of our sacred Mother Earth by fossil fuel extraction — Resist Line 3 and Keep it in the Ground for all living beings and future generations.”
Melinda Tuhus, a climate activist and grandmother from New Haven Connecticut, said, “I came to fight line 3 in support of indigenous sovereignty and a livable planet for everyone.”