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Pipeline Opponents Launch Lawsuit Against Line 3 — And the Lead Plaintiff Is Wild Rice

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wild rice, canoe on lake

Photo Credit: Brett Whaley Flickr via Compfight cc

‘Wild rice protects us. Wild rice feeds us,’ says White Earth First Nation lawyer.

Wild rice is the lead plaintiff in a new lawsuit aimed at halting construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement.

“Wild rice is the most important spiritual, central part of our culture. Wild rice is what’s making us come out and protect water,” Frank Bibeau, a treaty rights attorney for the White Earth First Nation in Minnesota, told As It Happens guest host Nil Köksal.

“Wild rice protects us. Wild rice feeds us. Wild rice tells us when there’s something wrong in the water or in the air or in the ground. Wild rice is an indicator species. And wild rice is disappearing.”

Bibeau filed the suit Wednesday in the White Earth Nation Tribal Court. It lists the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a defendant, and several White Earth tribal members and Line 3 protesters as plaintiffs alongside wild rice, or manoomin in Ojibway.