The Fight Against Line 3

Recycle, save energy, carpool: all common advice given to those who can take the course of climate change into their own hands. But, what about the corporations actively undoing these progresses made by the working class and damaging natural life? 

What is the Line 3 Project?

Built in the 1960s, Line 3 is a pipeline transporting crude oil southeast from Canada’s tar stands region to Lake Superior’s western tip near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. However, from the age of this pipeline branched the proposal of a new pipeline, constructing 330 miles of 36-inch diameter pipe to replace the 282 miles of the 34-inch line. The aim of the redesign, according to Enbridge Energy, is to reduce future maintenance, create fewer disruptions to landowners, and restore the historical operating capabilities, though it could do more harm than good. Even the first proposals of a new pipeline in 2013 had been met with much restraint and fight by First Nations, tribal governments, landowners, environmental groups, and communities from the Great Lakes, and are still ongoing.

Why fight against the project?

The reasons for combatting the project are vast, extending from climate concerns to sovereignty complications. Undoubtedly, Indigenous peoples, directly impacted by the fate of the pipeline, hold a majority of concern about the ethics of the construction. The rebuilding of the pipeline, due to the path of operation running through the land of tribal and Indigenous people, is a violation of the right to self-determination and self-government. Even ceded territory, where usufructuary rights are agreed upon between Ojibwe tribal members and the US government to allow sacred preservation and significant culture sites, is at risk with this plan. Pipelines, prone to oil spills and endangered resources, threaten the way of life, culture, and survival of the Ojibwe people. The US government, affirmed by the Supreme Court, had granted sovereignty to tribal nations only to breach the agreement and deny consent, establishing modern-day colonialism for their own corporate gain.

Even the process of workers carrying out this plan, in the form of “man camps,” plays a devastating part in the corruption of Indigenous lives. Temporary housing offered to accommodate the majority of male workers in the project have been documented to be tied to inceeases in drg trafficking, sex trafficking, and violent crime. The MMIW, or Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic, is only one result of women, Two-Spirit people, and children having to unproportionately defend their lives from the harmful industries that target them. 

In addition to the threat the pipeline places on the lives of Indigenous people, rapidly increasing effects of climate change have no intent to seize under this plan. It is no question that climate change is on the rise under industrial rule, causing unfathomable numbers of natural disasters, wildfires, droughts, famines, and wars. In the midst of melting polar caps, accelerating greenhouse gases, and the decline of natural habitats, a new oil pipeline should not be in question. The carbon that Line 3 would move is equivalent to 50 new fire coal power plants and requires a colossal amount of electricity. The cross sections of ethics, both for the endangerment of people and ecosystems, will indefinitely impact Indigenous people. Globally, indigenous people are among the most impacted groups when it comes to global warming, even though their contributions are relatively small. The ties Indigenous people have to the land usually lead to a dependence on natural resources for survival. Yet, with the pollution of landm healthy materials as well as their stability are decreased. If natural disasters caused by global warming increase, it is less accessible for Indingenous people to leave their land. There is a plethora of social problems already being faced on these lands, political and economic marginalization, loss of land human rights violations, lack of health care, education, employment, discrimination, and the addition of claimate change does nothing to ease these problems. Even the State of Minnestota’s Environmental Impact Statement regarding Line 3 acknowledges the “disproportionate” impacts that the Line 3 Project will have on Native people, in a case of environmental racism and dismissing environmental justice (Section 11.5). 

What is being done?

The project has brought thousands of protesters to the surface, fighting against the construction of the pipeline and the implications that come with it. As of Saturday, August 28th, it was reported that 69 people had been arrested for charges of “disorderly conduct, third-degree rio,t and felony threats of violence.” Although the Line 3 pipeline is reaching completion in Minnesota, protesters are not backing down and are still calling on Governor Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to shut down the project.

    Regardless of whether plans to slow the pipeline connor or not, there are still many ways to help the slow of the project and support Indigenous people through the global climate. Doing research, reaching out to politicians, and amplifying native voices are essential in these times. Learn more from

Works Cited:

9, FOX. “Troopers Arrest 69 People at Line 3 Protest OUTSIDE Governor’s Residence in St. Paul.” FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul, FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul, 28 Aug. 2021, 

“Enbridge Line 3 PIPELINE Replacement Project.” Line3, 20 Sept. 2019,

“Issues.” Stop Line 3,

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