Day of Action for a Fossil Free Future

Indigenous youth and supporters gather in front of MN Governor’s mansion

On Friday October 29th, 2021 youth organizers, artists, culture bearers and community members from Mni Sota gathered to join the International Indigenous Youth Council – Twin Cities chapter with Indigneous Roots, Rainforest Action Network, MN350, COPAL MN, Climate Justice Committee, Climate Generation, MIRAC, and UMN Students for Climate Justice  to demand JP Morgan Chase stop funding fossil fuel projects, and specifically Enbridge’s Line 3. 

This action was aligned in solidarity with the Fossil Free Future Day of Action led by Future Coalition on 10/29, a day in history where youth from Mni Sota and 20+ actions from across Turtle Island came together to demand the elimination of fossil fuel projects that contribute to the climate crisis we are in. These actions were primarily led by BIPOC youth leaders across the nation. 

The “For the Future: Stop Line 3” rally and march met across Central High School near the State Capitol of St. Paul. We opened the event and space with good medicines, words and songs provided by the original stewards of the land, the Dakota, Lakota, and Ojibwe peoples. Jingle Dress dancers shared dancing and drumming to acknowledge the Spirits and ancestors. 

The rally was energized by local BIPOC youth organizers and artists, such as Brandyn Tulloch, a poet who spoke in solidarity with the Indigneous community and shared the importance of defunding line 3. A banner drop on the Lexington bridge during rush hour traffic was orchestrated to bring light to the climate crisis to the people on the highway. One banner which stated “Stop Line 3” and the other, “Fossil Free Future.”

Once the banner was dropped and the last speaker at the rally spoke, organizers mobilized attendees and the Mexica Nahua group, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli initiated the march which concluded at the Governor’s Mansion. The sound of the conch shell and drum; the smell of copal and the powerful voices of BIPOC youth chanting took over the streets. 

Dancers help each other prepare

traditional Mexica-Nahua (Aztec) cultural group dances street

When asked why it is important to stop Line 3, members of IIYC TC responded with the following: “The Line 3 pipeline must be stopped. Line 3 is a violation of Indigenous treaty rights by going through 1854/1855 treaty territory and is exacerbating the effects of the Missing & Murdered Womxn and Relatives epidemic due to Enbridge’s man camps. It is contributing to the contamination of the Mississippi River and surrounding bodies of water, as well as threatening the existence of Manoomin (wild rice) beds.”

Together United, all that were present demanded that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase Bank stop the money flow to Line 3. Until pipelines are no longer polluting the land and water, the fight for demand must continue.

There are many ways to get involved to help prevent and stop any more harm to Mother Earth. 

photos by Nedahness Greene

Ruti Mejia (She/her/hers) is Core Member of the International Indigenous Youth Council Twin Cities. She currently works as Youth Music and Technology at Indigenous People’s Task Force. Contact: twincities@indigenousyouth.org

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