FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SHARON DAY, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-325-8077
EMILY JARRETT HUGHES, email@example.com, 612-314-5413
Minneapolis, MN July 14, 2021
An indigenous-led Nibi (Water) Walk will begin on July 18, 2021 following the path of the proposed Line 3 Enbridge pipeline. Starting in Superior, Wisconsin water protectors will walk along the proposed route of the pipeline, ending at the North Dakota border on July 29, 2021.
The walk begins with a blessing ceremony at Lake Superior and water from Gichi-gami (the Ojibwe word for Lake Superior) will be carried by walkers 359 miles in a ceremonial copper vessel. Organizer, elder and water protector, Sharon Day explains, “at every water crossing we will gather water and pray with it. We are walking to pray for the water along the proposed route of Line 3. We are not a protest. Our only audience is the water.”
Unlike past Nibi Walks, this walk is planned for women-identified individuals. In Indigenous tradition women are the protectors of water. Women from all cultures are welcome to walk in solidarity for a mile or for many days.
Line 3 is a tar sands pipeline, currently under construction in northern Minnesota, with a carbon equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants. The proposed pipeline violates treaty rights and risks over 200 bodies of water with the threat of an oil spill.
The Canadian-owned pipeline will have the capacity to carry nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day and is operated by Enbridge Energy, a multinational corporation responsible for the largest US inland oil spill. Nibi Walkers will trace the proposed pipeline route which cuts through untouched wetlands and the treaty territories of Anishinaabe people, through the Mississippi headwaters, and to the shores of Lake Superior.
“With every step we take we’re sending our prayers, our thoughts, to the rivers and lakes of this land,” said Day, a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.
Nibi means “water” in the Anishinaabe language. In Anishinaabe teachings it was promised that the water would always flow down to us as long as we remembered to sing and make offerings to the water. Nibi Walkers believe these songs and offerings are crucial now, when the health of our freshwater is at great risk from mining, fracking and pollution from oil pipelines such as the Enbridge Line 3.
Throughout their walk participants will pray and sing, sun-up to sun-down, to heal and honor the water. “We want the Walk to be a prayer,” says Sharon Day. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water. The water has given us life and now we will support the water. We’re sending a message to the world that we wish for an end to the violence perpetrated on our land, water and the earth’s climate.”
To learn more about the Line 3 Nibi Walk visit www.nibiwalk.org. Nibi Walks is a program of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force and supported by generous donations. Sharon Day is available for interviews. Please contact her directly at the number listed above.
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Photos available on request.