Native Americans

New unit launched at Interior to investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people

BY: - April 3, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Interior is creating a new unit to lead and help coordinate investigations into the ongoing crisis of murdered and missing American Indian and Alaska Native people. Interior Secretary Debra Haaland, the first Indigenous person to lead the agency, announced Thursday the formation of the Missing & Murdered Unit within the Bureau of […]

Senate confirms Haaland as first-ever Native American to serve in the Cabinet

BY: - March 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland made history on Monday when she became the first Native American to ever be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold a position in a president’s Cabinet. In a narrow 51-40 vote, senators confirmed Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, to serve as secretary of Interior, where she will run […]

Haaland confirmation vote for Interior on tap, despite GOP opposition

BY: - March 10, 2021

The Senate is expected to vote within days on the confirmation of U.S. Rep. Debra A. Haaland to lead the Interior Department, despite procedural barriers Republicans from Montana and Wyoming announced Tuesday. Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming placed holds on Haaland’s nomination, meaning the chamber now must take an […]

Tribes worry Line 5 tunnel construction could bring sex trafficking, violence to Native communities

BY: - March 7, 2021

Updated, 3:12 p.m., 3/7/21 When oil and gas companies employ hundreds of out-of-town, typically male workers to work on pipeline projects, an uptick in that area’s rates of sexual violence and sex trafficking usually follows. That’s becoming a concern for Michigan’s Indigenous people, who cite Canadian oil company Enbridge’s impending Line 5 pipeline tunnel project […]

A bipartisan push could change state wildlife protection

BY: - March 5, 2021

Scientists say the world is on the precipice of a mass extinction. The United Nations estimates that 1 million species are on the verge of being wiped out, threatened by climate change, habitat loss, pollution, invasive species and poaching. In the United States, the federal government has oversight of the more than 1,600 species listed […]

Biden Interior secretary pick likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

BY: - February 22, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use this week’s Interior confirmation hearing for U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP U.S. Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, […]

Oil and water: Resistance, construction intensify on Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline

BY: - February 1, 2021

The camp was quiet when Winona LaDuke stepped outside to share the news: Enbridge didn’t have permission to drill under the frozen Mississippi River. Construction on that piece of the Line 3 oil pipeline would be delayed — at least as long as the frigid weather held. LaDuke had barely finished the sentence when cheers […]

State panel orders Enbridge permit rehearing after Whitmer’s Line 5 shutdown order

BY: - December 9, 2020

The small Michigan regulatory panel charged with deciding whether to let Canadian oil company Enbridge build a tunnel-encased pipeline under the Mackinac Straits is shifting gears, announcing Wednesday that it has ordered a rehearing for Enbridge’s application now that the company’s 1953 easement has been revoked by the state. Enbridge had originally filed an application […]

As Enbridge fights for Line 5, Indigenous activists block Line 3 construction in Minnesota

BY: and - December 7, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last month ordered Canadian oil company Enbridge’s easement with the state to be revoked, giving Enbridge until May to shut down its controversial Line 5 pipeline in the Mackinac Straits. Enbridge responded in full force with a lawsuit against the state. The outcome of that lawsuit, which will likely end up in […]

Once-ignored promises to tribes could change environmental landscape in Michigan, other states

BY: - December 3, 2020

Last month, Michigan officials announced plans to shut down a controversial Line 5 oil pipeline that runs below the Great Lakes at the Straits of Mackinac. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats, cited several reasons for the decision, including one that got the attention of tribal leaders in Michigan who have […]

New: Tribal members urge EGLE to deny or delay Line 5 permits after archeological finds

BY: - October 16, 2020

Updated, 12:15 p.m. and 1:05 p.m., 10/16/20 with additional comments A group of tribal water protectors and Michigan environmentalists plan to submit comments to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Sunday, urging the state to consider new archaeological discoveries near the Line 5 pipeline before granting permits to Canadian oil company […]

Tribal-led Line 5 investigation unearths ancient cultural artifacts

BY: - October 14, 2020

A group of Michiganders concerned about the Line 5 oil pipeline’s impact on the Straits of Mackinac, led primarily by women of Michigan’s tribal communities, says it may have stumbled upon a significant Ice Age-era cultural site just a short distance from the dual underwater pipelines. “The ROV [remote operated vehicle] and sonar findings seem […]