A traditional prayer ceremony and ground blessing recently on the banks of the Mississippi River at Jacobson sought protection for the land and those working on Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project.
“It’s important to Enbridge because it’s starting the project out the right way,” said Patrick Hughley, who works in Tribal Engagement for the company. “It’s a matter of respect, and it needs to be a part of the entire project.”
“It opens our hearts and minds to listen open-heartedly, open-mindedly, and we all want the same thing,” said Diane, an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. “We want everybody to be safe and healthy. People are listening and they’re hearing us. We need to work together.”
The Line 3 Replacement Project included a first-of-its kind Tribal Cultural Resource Survey led by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa who managed review of the more than 300-mile route through the 1855, 1837, and 1863/1864 treaty areas. Fond du Lac employed tribal cultural experts who walked the full route identifying and recording significant cultural resources to be avoided.
“I’m very honored to work with Enbridge. They want to do it the right way. They’re looking at our culture, and how to be respectful to the land and the people. We want to honor our culture and our beliefs. We all want the same thing. We want everyone to be safe and healthy,” added Diane.
Replacing the existing Line 3 with a new pipeline made of thicker steel with more advanced coatings, is an integrity and maintenance driven program, and a $2.6 billion investment in Minnesota’s energy infrastructure. Currently there are more than 4,200 men and women from the skilled trades working on Line 3.
The project is creating family-sustaining, mostly local construction jobs, millions of dollars in local spending and additional tax revenues at a time when Northern Minnesota needs it most.