What happens when you’ve had enough of oil companies illegally passing pipelines through your tribal land? You practice self-determination and your sovereign rights to occupy that land. That is exactly what a group of Red Lake Tribal members are doing.
In a small town called Leonard in northern Minnesota, a traditional camp has been set up by Red Lake tribal members, allies and supporters. Lodging is in a tipi and a sacred fire is burning 24/7. The occupation started Thursday afternoon, February 28th and is still going strong today, Sunday, March 3rd. There is a safety law concerning oil pipelines that states nothing or no one can be above a pipeline for 72 hours or the pipeline will have to be shut off. The occupation is seeking to stop the oil flowing through their pipeline, for good. The 72-hour mark passed today, but no pipelines were turned off.