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Protect Water, Communities, and Climate


Communities continue to resist fossil fuel pipelines and infrastructure to avert the worst impacts of escalating interlocking crises. Since 2022, WECAN has been very honored to facilitate the Indigenous Women’s Treaty Alliance, a group of Indigenous women leaders from the Great Lakes region, to resist the advancement of the Line 5 pipeline.

Please see our letter here to the Army Corps of Engineers expressing our concerns and urging the department to deny necessary permits for the expansion of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, and to conduct a federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the entire pipeline within the Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction. The letter was endorsed by over 200 groups nationwide.

Indigenous Women's Treaty Alliance members include:

Jannan J. Cornstalk | Citizen of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; Director, Water is Life Festival; 1794 and 1855 Treaty
Carrie Chesnik | Oneida Nation Wisconsin, RISE Coalition Executive Assistant; 1838 Treaty 
Gaagigeyaashiik - Dawn Goodwin | Ojibwe/White Earth; Representative/Indigenous Environmental Network and Co-founder of R.I.S.E. Coalition; 1855 Treaty
Aurora Conley | Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Anishinaabe Environmental Protection Alliance; 1854 Treaty
Debra Topping | Nagajiwanaang (Fond du Lac), co-founder of R.I.S.E. Coalition; 1854 Treaty
Jaime Arsenault | White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO)
Rene Ann Goodrich | Bad River Tribal Elder, Family Impact Committee Co Chair, WI Department of Justice  MMIW Taskforce, Native Lives Matter Coalition- No More MMIWR Great Lakes; 1854 Treaty
Carolyn Gouge’-Powless| Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Anishinaabe Kwe; 1854 Treaty

To learn more please see this Ms. Magazine article for more information highlighting the efforts of Indigenous women leaders to Stop Line 5. 



Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline was originally built in 1953, and continues to operate nearly 20 years past its engineered lifespan, transporting 22 million gallons of crude oil each day through northern Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and under the Straits of Mackinac. Already this pipeline has spilled over a million gallons of oil.

Now, Enbridge is proposing to expand the Line 5 pipeline, despite the strong opposition of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and other Tribes. The new Line 5 pipeline expansion and re-route would threaten local aquifers and waterways, Treaty Rights,  and global climate; along with increasing the incidents of violence and human trafficking of Indigenous peoples due to the influx of pipeline workers and man camps as a result of extraction projects in and around tribal and vulnerable communities. 

The proposed pipeline expansion is set to route through the lands and territories of multiple tribal nations, crossing more than 900 waterways, including the Kakagon and Bad River Sloughs, vast wetlands that contain the Great Lakes’ only remaining coastal wild rice fields. These sloughs, bogs and coastal lagoons represent 40 percent of Lake Superior’s coastal wetlands. The Great Lakes span 4,530 miles of coast and account for 21 percent, one-fifth, of the world’s freshwater. More than 30 million people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water—10 percent of the U.S. population and 30 percent of the Canadian population.

Additionally, several tribes have filed lawsuits against Enbridge to stop the pipeline. In 2019, the Bad River Tribe filed a federal lawsuit against Enbridge, demanding the company discontinue the line and remove it from their territories. Despite legal opposition from Enbridge, Tribal Nations and Indigenous leaders persist. In 2021, all 12 federally-recognized tribes in Michigan requested President Biden shut down the pipeline.


Advocacy Highlights

Please see below highlights of the ongoing advocacy efforts to stop Line 5 led by the Indigenous Women's Treaty Alliance, WECAN, and the broad Line 5 coalition.  

  • July 2023 - Tribal Nations and Advocacy Groups Respond to Federal Court Decision on Shutting Down the Line 5 Pipeline

  • June 2023 - Rene Ann Goodrich, a member of the Indigenous Women's Treaty Alliance, engaged and led a variety of events and actions to bring attention to the impacts of Line 5, the epidemic of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), and to urge for the immediate shutdown of the pipeline. Learn more in this newsletter.

  • May 2023 - Indigenous Women Leaders & over 150 Groups Urge the Biden Administration to Immediately Shut Down Line 5 Due to Imminent Threat of Rupture

  • May 2023 - Indigenous Leaders, Environmental Groups, and Concerned Citizens Call on Canada to Shut Down Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline

  • April 2022 - Indigenous Women Leaders & over 200 Groups Urge the Army Corps to Stop the Line 5 Pipeline Expansion

Indigenous water protectors and allies host a rally to stop the Line 5 pipeline, protect local waterways, and bring awareness to the epidemic of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women. Photos courtesy of Rene Anne Goodrich / Indigenous Women's Treaty Alliance.


Indigenous water protectors and allies host a rally to stop the Line 5 pipeline, protect local waterways, and bring awareness to the epidemic of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women. Photos courtesy of Rene Anne Goodrich / Indigenous Women's Treaty Alliance.

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