Canada’s support of Line 5 violates Indigenous treaty rights and harms the natural world – by Michelle Woodhouse and Reg Niganobe (Toronto Star – November 10, 2022)

Indigenous Nations are awaiting the ruling of the Bad River Band v. Enbridge trial, which will be critical in determining the fate of Enbridge’s dangerous and decaying pipeline — Line 5. Line 5 is a 70-year-old, ill-maintained crude oil pipeline that the Canadian government continues to support despite the significant threat it poses to Indigenous rights, Canada’s freshwater supply, and the environment.

In two separate court cases — Bad River Band v. Enbridge and the State of Michigan v. Enbridge — Canada has supported Enbridge by invoking a 1977 pipeline treaty as a means to keep the pipeline open.

In supporting the ongoing operation of Line 5 and by invoking this treaty, Enbridge and Canada are working to circumvent tribal rights within the U.S. legal system for a pipeline that we do not need and have alternatives for.

Tribal nations within Michigan and Wisconsin signed treaties with the U.S. government in 1836, 1837, 1842 and 1854. These treaties guarantee that tribes retain the right to hunt, fish and gather in their traditional territories. Line 5 is a direct threat to these rights and the ecosystems that sustain them.

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