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PIPELINE On the cover Marcus Bear GLIFWC intern holds a lake sturgeon captured during annual sturgeon assessments at the mouth of the Bad River. GLIFWC works cooperatively with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bad River Band of Chippewa. photo by Charlie Otto Rasmussen McGregor Minn.Although the Enbridge Energy Sandpiper pipeline route has been planned for lands within and close to four Ojibwe reservations White Earth Leech Lake Mille Lacs and Fond du Lac the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission PUC the agency charged with reviewing Enbridge Energys appli- cation failed to hold any of its five public hearings on a reservation. In response the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe held a public hearing on the Sandpiper pipeline on June 5 2015 at the East Lake Community Center. The meeting was coordinated by Mille Lacs Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin and District II Representative David NiibAubid. The purpose for the public hearing was to allow tribal mem- bers an opportunity to voice their concerns. Theproposedrouteisapproximately616mileslongstartinginBeaverLodge North Dakota and terminating in Superior Wisconsin. Enbridge Energy intends to useSandpipertoshipoilpumpedfromtheBakkenoilfieldstorefineriesintheeast. The public hearing included testimony from Mille Lacs Band elected offi- cials elders and community members from Gete-minisinaakwaang or East Lake and Sandy Lake communities representatives from the Mille Lacs Band Natural Resources Department and others. Several themes arose from the testimony including concerns about the effect that the pipeline would have on wild rice water resources and other environmental effects and concerns about the process in which state and federal government agencies have undertaken to review Enbridge Energys proposal. Elders and resource managers comment Representative Aubid opened the public hearing with a pipe ceremony con- ducted in Ojibwemowin. Within this ceremony he recounted the story of Nazhike- waawaasang a spirit who came to the Ojibwe as a single point of light and gave the people a feather as a representation of the covenant between the people and the rest of creation. In giving the feather Nazhikewaawaasang encouraged the people to be good and respectful to all beings offer tobacco and enjoy the good life that comes with living these traditional ways. The spirit promised to come back and check on things Nazhikewaawaasang would be making sure that there are still people who respect that feather truly believing in the stories. Afterwards Aubid explained that he rarely talks about that teaching but it was important to remember because theres only a little dot on a world map where wild rice grows once you destroy it and its gone thats a reminder of this teaching. Elder Dale Greene or Kaadaak shared his perspective as someone who has lived many years in the community and has seen a great number of negative changes in the environment. Think about the other beings on the earth animal bird beings everything. They all have a spirit he testified. He explained how the roads highways and pipelines have dried up wetlands which are important filters for the water needed to live. Russ Shabaiash explained that Gete-minisinaakwaang is opposed to having a pipeline run through its community. Were from here he emphasized. We want to share with our children the beauty and gifts that this island has to share. Many of the elders testified about the abundant wild rice that grows in the area and the importance of harvesting and eating that manoomin. MilleLacsBandNaturalResourcesDepartmentstaffreemphasizedthepoints made by the elders. Creating a new corridor for this pipeline could have disastrous effects on the waterways. Chad Weiss aquatic biologist explained that manoomin is extremely sensitive to changes in water levels flow and pollution. Even without a spill the development of a new corridor on lands close to manoomin rivers and lakes could change the delicate balance. Forester Jake Horbacz explained that the project would require clearcutting on a massive scale with the continual use of pesticides to control grow-back. These pesticides he explained could leach into water resources. Lackofgovernment-to-governmentconsultation Despite the potentially significant effect the project could have on Gete- minisinaakwaang and other tribal communities the PUC has not required an Environmental Impact Statement EIS to study impacts from the pipeline on the environment and the people living nearby. Many of the speakers testified about the need for a comprehensive EIS. The PUC has also refused to conduct any government-to-government consultations with affected tribal communities. The Mille Lacs Band requested government-to-government consultation on the pipeline in August 2014. According to Carolyn Beaulieu Secretary Treasurer and Speaker of the Mille Lacs Band Assembly the PUC responded by informing the band that it could participate in the general public comment process that the PUC organized to collect comments from landowners and private citizens.After a formal letter request for government-to-government consultation in official corre- spondence to the Band the PUC reiterated its position that it is under no obligation to engage in government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes despite the fact that Governor Dayton required state agencies to consult with Indian tribes through Executive Order 13-10. Government-to-government consultation is not achieved through inclusion in the public comment process Beaulieu emphasized. She attributed the PUCs failure to follow through on government-to-government consultation on a hyper-technical reading of Executive Order 13-10. The Mille LacsBandwouldliketoseethepipelineapprovalprocesshalteduntilgovernment- to-government consultation occurs. Enbridge Energy which has an official policy to engage in forthright and sincereconsultationwithAboriginalandNativeAmericanPeoplesaboutEnbridges projects and operations which have an impact on their legal and constitutionally protected rights had failed to engage with any of the potentially affected tribes until the Mille Lacs Band andWhite Earth Band announced plans to hold their own public hearings. According to Beaulieu Enbridge Energy organized a last-minute meeting with tribal leaders on May 28 2015. Beaulieu characterized the meeting as a publicity stunt made for appearances only. Although the Mille Lacs White Earth and Fond du Lac Bands are likely to experience the most direct effects related to the Sandpiper project the pipeline has the potential to affect many other tribal communities. Materials shipped through Sandpiper will end up in Superior Wisconsin where it will be shipped further east through pipelines by other Ojibwe communities or across Lake Superior. Water resources all along the route east are potentially at risk. Impacts on manoomin sacred sites Manoomin wild rice is sacred to Ojibwe people as it plays a significant part in the migration story of how the Anishinaabeg came to the Great Lakes area.According to St. CroixTribal Historic PreservationOfficerWandaMcFaggenmanoominisagiftfromthe Creator and Ojibwe people depend on it as an important resource for sustenance. I have never ever attended a feast or ceremonial gathering that didnt have the gift of rice there McFaggen recalls Our traditional ways and spirituality depend on that rice. Like many other indigenous people McFaggen worries that the harmful effects of pipelines and mines will devastate the land and resources thus preventing future generations of Ojibwe from learning about and enjoying traditional foods and other natural resources in the By Philomena Kebec GLIFWC Policy Analyst Emily Nelis Kristin Thannum GLIFWC Summer Interns Mille Lacs Band sponsors public hearing on Sandpiper pipeline proposal District II Representative David Niib Aubid provides testimony on the potential impact of the Sandpiper pipeline on the natural resources in his home area which includes Sandy Lake. photo by Philomena Kebec see Concerns voiced page 10 MAZINAIGAN PAGE 2 FALL 2015