Tribal leaders, and other protestors, are facing mass arrests and eviction from their weeklong occupation of a Enbridge Line 3 pipeline easement after receiving an eviction notice for trespassing from Enbridge on Monday, according to a statement from the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging Coalition, also known as RISE.
The group declined the June 14 notice and claims they are exercising their treaty rights on the land, including "guaranteed rights to hunt, fish and gather on lands that we ceded to the United States government."
Dawn Goodwin, member of the RISE Coalition, read the group's response in Facebook video posted to the group's page on June 14.
"Throughout the multi-year Enbridge Line 3 review process, Enbridge and the state of Minnesota have remained willfully ignorant of our rights established under the treaties of 1837, 1854 and 1855," Goodwin stated, in her response letter. "Our treaty rights are the supreme law of the land, according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution. These take precedent over any state-approved easement or trespass laws."
The group also posted photos of Clearwater County Sheriff Darin Halverson speaking with the remaining protestors at the easement. In a tweet, the RISE Coalition claims around 50 water protectors remain at the Firelight Camp, a group of tents on the pipeline easement along the marshlands of the Mississippi River headwaters.
The police have circled #FireLightCamp preparing to enforce Enbridge’s fake trespassing claims.
Treaty’s are supreme law of land.
These are Anishinaabe lands, it is Enbridge who is trespassing with their dirty tar sands pipeline #stopline3 pic.twitter.com/h3WBtzW2kh
In the majority opinion of the three-judge panel, Judge Lucinda E. Jesson wrote: "While reasonable minds may differ on the central question of need for replacement Line 3, substantial evidence supports the commission's decision to issue a certificate of need."
She concluded her opinion, stating, "Finally, the commission reasonably selected a route for the replacement pipeline based upon respect for tribal sovereignty, while minimizing environmental impacts. Accordingly, we affirm."
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Matthew Guerry, of Forum News Service, contributed to this report.
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