Home / #Solutions / BREAKING: Chippewa Tribe Calls for Pipeline Removal from All Tribal Land, Refuses Right-of-way Renewal

BREAKING: Chippewa Tribe Calls for Pipeline Removal from All Tribal Land, Refuses Right-of-way Renewal

Odanah, WI — In a spectacular act of resistance to Big Oil, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Council refused to renew a right-of-way easement for an Enbridge crude oil pipeline running through the Bad River Reservation.

While Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members remain entrenched in a battle to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Bad River tribal council passed a formal resolution against renewing rights-of-way for Enbridge’s Energy Line 5 — and officially called for the pipeline to be decommissioned and removed from all tribal lands and the affected watershed.

Originally known as Lakehead Pipeline Company, Enbridge installed the pipeline in 1953; however, by 2013 — when “15 Individual grant of easement rights of way for Line 5 expired” — Band River had reacquired interests in eleven of those parcels.

“As many other communities have experienced, even a minor spill could prove to be disastrous for our people,” Bad River Tribal Chairman Robert Blanchard noted on the remarkable decision in the press release. “We depend upon everything that the creator put here before us to live mino-bimaadiziwin, a good and healthy life.”

Blanchard explained the resolution had not been motivated solely by the Band’s concerns — rather, the well being of the region, as a whole — all inhabitants as well as the living environment.

“We will work with our native and non-native communities to make sure that Line 5 does not threaten rights of people living in our region, and we will reach out to federal, state and local officials to evaluate how to remove Line 5, and we will work with the same communities and officials to continue developing a sustainable economy that doesn’t marginalize indigenous people,” Blanchard stated.

Not wasting any time, the Band has already begun planning for Line 5’s disassembly and removal, taking into account the handling of hazardous materials and remnants of toxic crude. Disposal of the pipeline parts, recycling and disposal of hazardous contents, and restoration of the land to as pristine a state as possible — with minimal impact on the ecosystem — are now of primary concern.

“These environmental threats not only threaten our health, but they threaten our very way of life as Anishinaabe,” Tribal Council Member Dylan Jennings asserted. “We all need to be thinking of our future generations and what we leave behind for them.”

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Where the Bad River Band holds a distinct advantage compared to the Standing Rock Sioux in its fight to protect the water and land perhaps most concerns the location of the pipeline.

Energy Transfer Partners plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline directly threaten the water supply of the Standing Rock Reservation — but the pipeline’s path under the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir lies just north of government-declared tribal lands.

This means the majority of project in the area traverses private property, which ETP can pay owners for the right-of-way — usually paltry sums forcing them into court battles over valuation — or, as it has done in many places, performed gymnastics to employ the U.S. government’s controversial land-grab policy of eminent domain.

While the Enbridge pipeline obviously already sits on Bad River Band property — making the comparison a bit of apples and oranges — the fact it runs through reservation lands provides the members of the sovereign nation greater muscle in such decisions.

As the statement explains:

“With over 7,000 members, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians is located on an over 124,000-acre reservation in an area within Ashland and Iron Counties on the south shore of Lake Superior (known by the tribe as Gichi Gami). The Ojibwe people have a long and rich heritage throughout the Great Lakes region and at Odanah on Lake Superior prior to European traders, missionaries and settlers and continuing to today. Treaties signed by eleven Ojibwe Tribes ceded territory in the region, including what is currently the upper one third of the State of Wisconsin.”

As this resolution just passed in the later hours on Thursday, a response from Enbridge had not yet been released.

Standing up to Big Oil — thanks to opposition in Standing Rock — has become a national and international movement to begin the necessary move toward renewable forms of energy production.

Constant spills, leaks, and explosions — many with disastrous consequences — go mostly unnoticed in headlines simply for their frequency.

For the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa council to sound a collective halt to Big Oil’s dominance of their land is an admirable — if quiet — act of resistance, indeed.

dd

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  • permalink

    It appears no one gives a rats behind about this pipeline.

    • The Native Americans do….no one else counts.

      • permalink

        This is just another story posted on “thefreethoughtproject” site that amounts to a NOTHING. So the tribe “controls” 11 of 15 right-of-ways…

        The Indians will be bought off just like they have always been bought off.

        • Why have you not provided evidence for your claim? Do you have something against Native Americans that explains why your attitude towards them is this way?

          • permalink

            “Why have you not provided evidence for your claim?”

            “Band River had reacquired interests in eleven of those parcels”

            Yes, it states **11 of 15** in the above article. Need me to read it to you also?

            My “attitude towards them is”?

            Why is my attitude wrong and yours right? This IS a comment section. Nothing here states you need agree or disagree w/ my opinion. Don’t like my opinion, don’t read it.

          • Your attitude towards them is racist, and is therefore wrong, otherwise there would be no reason for you to claim that they have been “bought off.” And don’t respond to MY comments with your racist bullshit or I WILL respond to your worthless and small sighted opinion. Don’t like that? Too bad, you are not being given any choice in the matter. Don’t forget that you were bought out the next time you’re spending your food stamps little man.

          • permalink

            You are just mad because I proved you didn’t read the article when it stated “11 of 15”.

            And I know I have been bought, I am getting three government checks (2/ month, 1/ year) and know that it is after the first of the year I am going to apply for and receive food stamps.

            Yep, I am laughing all the way to the bank…

            How does that make you feel?

          • You proved not one thing. You merely assumed that I didn’t read it. You must enjoy being wrong, you do it sort of often. For the record I am in no way angry, and certainly wouldn’t invest any great amount of emotion in you. Native Americans have never been bought off, and to make such a claim is to prove just how ignorant you are of the way they’ve continually been treated in this country. You laugh all the way to the bank, I don’t care any. I need no gov’t checks or food stamps. I already have more money than the entire food stamps program has available to it for an entire year nationwide. Enjoy bragging about your complete lack of a financial status! I will be laughing at that for the rest of the day. It is often better to have the world assume you know nothing, than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Can you understand what that means or shall I explain a dummied down version of it???

          • Be careful with that computer LOL! It wasn’t meant for that! How does that make YOU feel???

          • permalink

            Keep up w/ the great comments. I”ve got nothing better to do today.

        • Somebody_Else

          Do you know that some of “The Indians will be bought off just like they have always been bought off.” thing you are talking about includes such maneuvers as locking their representatives in a shed and falsifying their vote? Well that’s just one a disturbingly large number of such stunts. Should I even mention the ones where they were looking at agree or die situations? How about the agreements where they gave up something in exchange for something else, but despite losing the first, they were never given the agreed upon exchange?
          That kind of garbage is a huge percentage of the kinds of ‘deals’ the Native American Indians have been saddled with. So I do take offense to your statement about being bought off. But maybe you are just an ignorant person that didn’t learn that much American history, so you might be forgiven.

          • permalink

            There is no story here, zip, zero, nothing to be learned, yet you mumble anyway.

            The tribe does not control the complete right-of-way.

            And when push comes to shove the tribe will have their hand out and “take the money and run”.

          • darlene
          • permalink

            Good article, but does not change the fact that the Indians do not control all the “right-of-way”, as some here think they do.

            And I have read 3 or 4 other articles stating the same. This is a “nothing” story, as it always has been.

            That pipeline is not going anywhere.

        • astreia

          The Native Americans have NEVER been “bought off.”

          • permalink

            Then why do they live on **reservations**?

    • Rocky Torres

      What did you get for Christmas, which team win…, etc.? That’s what non-native Americans worry about.

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    • Kweden

      It is called explosions and engine seizures. It converts water to hydrogen, the one that works. the other one ‘just water’ only burns out the engine.

      • Shawn Kearney

        the one that works doesn’t. It will always take more energy to convert to hydrogen when the hydrogen is oxidized back into water! This nonsense is like saying you could somehow recombine the exhaust from an engine back into gasoline and use it indefinitely. H2O is the combustion product of hydrogen!

        • Kweden

          that is a really good point! I hadn’t thought of it from a chemist perspective; I only accepted hydrogen fuel cells, and sticking electrodes from the battery into a container of water for the separation of it from water. Those work, but you make sense; it should take more energy to convert the hydrogen from the water with an electrical charge than it would produce. Let’s think about that, and as to why it works (dangerously, but it does) I think it could be because the water has ions in it, and when the electricity is applied, then the hydrogen breaks free for less energy than actually converting h2o int h2. That might be why it works, but I have not seen anyone to have done an actual experiment to see if they, in fact, get more energy than the electricity used. So, I don’t know why it works; if the substances were pure, it shouldn’t work, according to theory.

          • Shawn Kearney

            i am not a chemist and I do not know enough about fuel cells and how they operate. But I do know that simply burning hydrogen to to convert it to heat or mechanical energy will not produce any net gain.

            I am pretty sure though that you couldn’t take the water from the fuel cell and apply electricity to it and get more fuel. Also the electrolysis of water is not a particularly efficient source for hydrogen, either, Ammonia and hydrocarbons such as methane are much more efficient.

          • Kweden

            Yes, ionizing water with electrical charge off gasses (obviously) h2 and o2, then suck it off into the internal combustion engine and it explodes–strangely, back into water and hydrocarbons.

            hydrocarbons hold alot of h2, but it is much more work to break it out, and then there is the problem of all the carbon which is not able to be used, which may be why small stars burn out into a ball of carbon.

            And, ammonia, that stuff is expensive and has far too many other more profitable uses than to use as fuel.

          • Shawn Kearney

            The only way you’d get hydrocarbon out of an internal combustion engine fed hydrogen is if their was carbon in there in the first place. You cannot oxidise hydrogen and “make” carbon from nothing.

            It is true that electrolysis from methane is not efficient, but other methods do exist.

            ammonia and ammonium are not expensive at all and are agricultural bi-products.

          • Kweden

            That is part of why I said “strangely” Do the experiment for yourself. Place a bottle of water in your engine compartment, stick electrodes from battery or other electric source in, attach a tube to your intake (but be warned, it can blow your heads or even blow up in the compartment) I also mentioned that if the substances were pure it may be different.

            What is burned is the suck from the bottle, and air thru the carb. If you use fuel-injection without air intake then you will need much more concentrated hydrogen water complex to fire up the engine.

            Otherwise, if it is true that hydrogen does not turn into carbon, then how do small stars burn out into hot carbon balls? All carbon was created in stars, which are burning hydrogen.

          • Shawn Kearney

            dude. you have literally no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Kweden

    The starter of the standing rock protest made it crystal clear that he never intended to end the pipeline, didn’t think it was possible, and does not oppose oil. His protest was about it affecting HIS tribe. As he said after the supposed army corps told him it was over, “Now, all the people who are not indians can leave.” Btw–army corps of engineers does not work on sundays–get the point? I guess he never realized that the other routes (which he did not oppose) were all upstream also, crossed the river 3 and 5 times, and would have caused the same problem for his tribe. Truth sucks, doesn’t it, but reality bites with it.

    • permalink

      This article has nothing to do w/ Standing Rock…

      Carry on.

      • The comment above mine has nothing to do with anything…

  • Thank you Bad River Chippewa for saving safe water and land! Talk to Standing Rock Sioux, please!

    • permalink

      What exactly are they **saving** on a pipeline that has been in the ground since 1953?

  • Daisy

    Native American tribal lands are unfair treaties made by white man, with broken arrow promises, and should be renegotiated in favor of all native american tribes.

    • permalink

      This Enbridge pipeline has nothing to do w/ any treaty. You are just blabbering about a “nothing” story brought up by someone here on thefreethoughtproject.