[Autochtones-cop21] United Nations Issues Letter Regarding Violations of Anishinaabe Human Rights from Enbridge Line 3, Requests Measures from the United States

Silvanu silvanu at samizdat.net
Jeu 2 Sep 16:15:27 CEST 2021


*For your information.*
**
*In friendship,*
*Sylvain*
*CSIA-Nitassinan *


      *BREAKING NEWS!!!!! United Nations Issues Letter Regarding
      Violations of Anishinaabe Human Rights from Enbridge Line 3,
      Requests Measures from the United States*

September 1, 2021 – Anishinaabe Territory within Minnesota – The United 
Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has 
taken the extraordinary measure to request a response from the United 
States regarding allegations of human rights violations against the 
Anishinaabe associated with the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction.
On March 29, 2021, Honor the Earth and Giniw Collective submitted a 
Request for Early Warning Measures to CERD as part of an international 
strategy to elevate the human rights violations perpetuated by the U.S. 
and the state of Minnesota as to construction of the Enbridge Line 3 
pipeline. This petition requested immediate intervention from CERD and 
detailed the continuing violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, 
including the right to free, prior, and informed consent; the right to 
health; the right to culture; and the right to security and to be free 
from violence.
On August 31, CERD published a letter to the U.S. Government dated 
August 25, requesting that the U.S. respond to these allegations. The 
letter notes, among other things, that these rights violations would 
amount to a violation of the International Convention on the Elimination 
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which the U.S. has signed 
and ratified.
The letter requests that the U.S. Government provide information on how 
it guarantees the right to free, prior, and informed consent; prevents 
adverse impacts of the pipeline on the Anishinaabe and their culture, 
health, and environment; guarantees the right to an effective remedy to 
these rights violations; and prevents violence against Indigenous women 
and excessive force against protestors.
Giving focus to treaty rights violations – a first for CERD in 
engagements with the U.S. – the Committee also requested that the U.S. 
“provide details on the status of the treaties concluded between the 
Anishinaabe indigenous peoples and the Government of the United States 
of America and on measures adopted to guarantee the respect of the 
rights of the Anishinaabe under such treaties,” specifically 
usufructuary rights upheld by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Minnesota v. 
Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians. CERD asked that the U.S. respond to 
its query by October 15, 2021.
“We are grateful that the United Nations has responded to our request 
and recognized the incalculable harms from the Line 3 expansion to the 
Anishinaabe people, treaty territory and the manoomin wild rice,” said 
Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth. “We hope that the 
United States takes the CERD inquiry seriously and meets the deadline 
for the response. Support for Line 3 from the Biden Administration and 
the State of Minnesota has led to a worsening situation for people, 
water, land and our sacred wild rice.”
Since the petition was submitted in March, over 600 arrests and 
citations have been made to those peacefully protesting the expansion 
(with some reporting as many as 800), there have been increased reports 
of human rights violations and violence against Indigenous women around 
Line 3 construction, and a preliminary report from Enbridge shows at 
least 28 spills during construction, affecting 12 river crossings with 
leaks of up to 9,000 gallons.
Following a meeting in August with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human 
Rights Defenders, Tara Houska, founder of Giniw Collective, stated, 
“Enbridge threatens Anishinaabe cultural survival, the drinking water of 
millions, and the public’s trust. Since the U.S. government is yet again 
failing Indigenous people and future generations, we turn to the 
international community. The world is watching.”
“When U.S. policy inadequately considers the rights of Indigenous 
Peoples, international mechanisms such as the UN Committee on the 
Elimination of Racial Descrimination are crucial to prevent the 
devastating impacts that cannot be undone once they occur,” said Kate 
Finn, Executive Director of First Peoples Worldwide, which filed the 
petition on behalf of Honor the Earth and Giniw Collective. “The letter 
from the Committee plainly articulates the allegations of rights 
violations attendant to Line 3 and the ways in which the actions of the 
U.S. Government fail to respect those rights and, in turn, perpetuate 
racial discrimination.”
Despite support of the Line 3 project by the Administration and recent 
affirmation of permits from Minnesota courts, the White Earth Band of 
Ojibwe is moving forward a rights of nature lawsuit to protect the 
sacred manoomin wild rice.
“The construction of these pipelines is threatening to burn our wild 
rice and to destroy our delicate wetlands as we speak. This is our land. 
We have no place to move,” wrote LaDuke in The Hill. “The new Line 3 
pipeline… is going to carry three times more oil than its predecessor. 
While called a replacement, it’s really a new line, torn through the 
heart of the Anishinaabe territory that was designated in the 1855 
treaty, lands protected by the Supreme Court and by U.S. government 
agreements with our ancestors. Despite this protection, our rivers and 
rice face a potential threat by the construction of Enbridge Line 3.
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