Environment | Law

Honor the Earth challenges pipeline route through treaty lands






A map of the Sandpiper pipeline route through treaty lands in Minnesota. Larger Image

An administrative law judge heard arguments over a pipeline that crosses through treaty-ceded territory in Minnesota.

Honor the Earth argues that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must consult tribes before approving the $2.6 billion Sandpiper crude oil pipeline. The group is proposing an alternate route that won't affect rice gathering activities at Rice Lake and Sandy Lake

“Everybody has kind of forgotten what our rights are, and that is why we are here,” attorney Frank Bibeau told the judge, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

But pipeline developer Enbridge Energy said that the treaties only reserve hunting, fishing and gathering rights. The company argued that the tribes can't regulate the activities non-Indian entities or co-manage the ceded lands.

The case could end up in federal court depending how the judge rules.

Get the Story:
Indian rights activists say treaties give them a say on pipeline route (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 5/8)