Stand Strong with the Bay Mills Indian Community to Protect Treaty Rights and the Straits of Mackinac
Categories: Environmental Protection & Climate Change, Hunting and Fishing (Treaty Rights, Subsistence), Native Lands & Sacred Places (Land Back, Treaty Rights, Tribal Homelands, National Historic Places Protections)
Enbridge Energy wants to build a tunnel under the Great Lakes at the Straits of Mackinac, a place the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) and other Anishinaabe peoples of the region consider a sacred place on Turtle Island (North America). Every tribe in Michigan opposes the project.
“The Straits are the center of creation for our people,” said BMIC President Whitney Gravelle. “The construction of a tunnel through this sacred area endangers our livelihoods, our fisheries, and our culture. Every day that the Line 5 dual pipelines continue to pump oil and gas through the Great Lakes amounts to a violation of our treaty-protected rights and an acceleration of climate change. We must stop the tunnel project and shut down Line 5.”
Right now, you can participate in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel Project.
In your comment, please consider:
- Requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers think full-scope and long-term:
- Consider the impacts along the entire interconnected Line 5 system that would feed into and flow out from a new oil and gas pipeline tunnel at the Straits;
- Consider the cumulative impacts if this project extended indefinitely the life of the ordered-for-decommission Line 5 fossil fuel system.
- Reminding the Corps that the EIS must determine and consider the local to global, immediate to long-term impacts of climate change this project would create for you, the Bay Mills Indian Community, other tribes, local cities and counties, Michigan, the region, the U.S., and the planet.
- Explaining why it is important to you that the Army Corps of Engineers closely examine the environmental impacts of the proposed Line 5 tunnel.
- Explaining how this project would impact you, both now and in the future.
This could include:
- The need to protect the Straits of Mackinac as a traditional cultural landscape and the cultural reliance on the Straits held by the Bay Mills Indian Community and other Anishinabeg people who have lived in the region for millennia.
- The need to prioritize drinkable water and livable-for-humans climate conditions over a single Canadian corporation’s profit: the Great Lakes supply 84% of North America’s fresh surface water.
- The federal government has legal obligations: a) to protect lands and waters it guaranteed in treaty that the Bay Mills Indian Community could access to hunt and fish, and b) to protect the right of all citizens to breathable air, clean water, and oil-spill-free lands.
- Enbridge’s record of pipeline ruptures and spills, including causing the largest inland spill in the United States polluting the Kalamazoo River.
- Scientists estimate an oil spill at the Straits could be immense and create unrecoverable losses. Plants, waters, lands, wildlife, and humans need healthy, livable ecosystems that an oil spill of any size puts at risk.
- Researchers hired by Enbridge and others have shown that the Canadian corporation could still make massive profits without needing to charge consumers much more by shutting down Line 5 in the U.S., which entails less risk than tunneling under the Great Lakes.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron converge at the Straits at the narrowest point between the upper and lower part of Michigan.