Oil and gas pipeline company Enbridge identified, scored, and tracked Indigenous opposition to its pipelines, The Intercept reports. The company’s “Opposition Driven Operational Threats” database identified the lands of Upper Midwest tribes — including the Red Lake Nation, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa — as threats to its Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline and its Line 5 pipeline traversing the extremely environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac. Winona LaDuke (Ojibwe) and Honor The Earth, the nonprofit she founded, were specifically named as threats to Enbridge.
Enbridge also used drones to spy on LaDuke and Honor the Earth after the company purchased land near the organization’s headquarters (miles from their pipeline project). “To the rest of us, ‘threat’ means actual threats to life and liberty,” lawyer for pipeline protestors Mara Verheyden-Hilliard told The Intercept. “But to them this is all about how much money they can extract while carrying out an operation that is environmentally devastating. You begin to have this perversion of concepts of what actually are true threats.” (The Intercept; Commentary: Desecrating the sacred (Atmos, Ruth Hopkins (Dakota/Lakota Sioux) essay)