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18 Aug 2021

Giniw Collective, Honor the Earth, and Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

Line 3 Indigenous water protectors meet with U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders over human rights violation concerns

[R]epresentatives from the Giniw Collective and Honor the Earth, with support from the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), met with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor to share information about escalating concerns of egregious human rights and Indigenous rights violations occurring in Northern Minnesota along the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. Tara Houska (Couchiching First Nation), Founder of Giniw Collective, and Winona LaDuke (White Earth Nation), Executive Director of Honor the Earth, have submitted a formal complaint to the Rapporteur.

Citing documentation, reports, and personal accounts, meeting participants discussed human rights defenders opposing the Line 3 pipeline - including Indigenous water protectors, allies, and journalists – having experienced numerous violations of rights in the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Representatives also discussed Free, Prior and Informed Consent as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

... The Line 3 tar sands pipeline is currently under construction, and is set to cross more than 200 waterways and cut through the 1854 and 1855 treaty territory where Anishinaabe people retain the right to hunt, fish, gather medicines, and harvest wild rice. If built, the Line 3 pipeline would unlock CO2 emissions equivalent to 50 coal plants, and cost society more than $287 billion in climate impacts in just its first 30 years of operation.

... Winona LaDuke (White Earth Nation), Executive Director of Honor the Earth, said, “We thank the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders for putting attention on what’s happening in Northern Minnesota, where an international fossil fuel corporation is once again brutalizing Indigenous people to expand the footprint of its toxic and unneeded tar sands oil project..."