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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

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House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Michigan Tribes, Others File Grievance With UN Over Line 5 Project

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Monday, April 17, 2023   

Representatives of 51 tribes and First Nations have presented a demand to the United Nations to call on Canada to end its support for the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline.

In a petition to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the coalition claims the pipeline is a threat to the human rights of front line Indigenous communities and to the environment. It claims the tribes and entities of the U.S. government have agreed to talks, to settle the dispute. Still, Canada has consistently invoked a 1977 pipeline treaty, blocking any meaningful progress.

Whitney Gravelle, president of the Bay Mills Indian Community, said it is about maintaining their sovereignty.

"Ultimately, the reason we're involved is in order to protect the future of not only the state of Michigan and the water quality of the Great Lakes," Gravelle pointed out. "But also to continue to protect the future of our Indigenous lifeways."

Line 5 moves crude oil from Canada to Michigan underneath the Straits of Mackinac. The controversial project has been the target of multiple environmental groups and tribes over concern a spill could pollute much of the Great Lakes. A request to the Canadian Foreign Ministry seeking comment was not returned.

Gravelle noted this week, representatives of the coalition will travel to New York City to present their grievances to the U.N. Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous People, which oversees treaty disputes.

"When that treaty was negotiated, our ancestors at the time decided to cede 14 million acres of land and 13 million acres of water in exchange for the preservation of treaty rights," Gravelle explained.

She added tribes and First Nations have grown weary of trying to get Canada to live up to its obligations, and hopes the United Nations can intervene and move the parties toward a settlement.

"The government of Canada is really speaking with two faces," Gravelle contended. "On one hand, they are intervening in domestic litigation to support Enbridge Energy. They are delaying the court proceedings from being able to be adjudicated. We are suffering harm as a result."


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