Line 5 debate goes to United Nations Permanent Forum
The ongoing debate over the future of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline was in front of a panel at the United Nations recently.
Tribal Sovereign Nations continue to push for the pipeline’s decommissioning after dozens of them blasted Canada for its continued support of the project in a report last month.
Most recently, their concerns made it to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
The forum said in a report that Line 5 “jeopardizes the Great Lakes” and “presents a real and credible threat to the treaty-protected fishing rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Canada.”
Whitney Gravelle, president of Bay Mills Indian Community in the Upper Peninsula, said bringing Line 5 to the UN was just the first step in gathering opposition on an international scale.
“I think it highlights that the impacts and the concerns that are being raised by indigenous peoples in Michigan, are not isolated to the state of Michigan,” she said.
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has served as an advisory body to the United Nations' Economic and Social Council since its formation in 2000. It has met every year since 2002.
The message in the forum comes after 17 tribes, including some in Michigan, petitioned the U.N. Human Rights Council ahead of its review of Canada’s policy in November.
Last month, Enbridge said Line 5 continues to operate safely and that relationships with Indigenous communities is, "essential to Enbridge's continued success."
“We appreciate that leaders of both federal governments are engaged in the treaty resolution process,” Enbridge spokesperson Ryan Duffy said in a statement. “Discussions are ongoing and we’re hopeful they will find a way forward for this critical infrastructure.”