Hubbard County deputies reportedly set up a barricade around a Line 3 protest camp on Hinds Lake, south of Park Rapids.
According to a release from Sheriff Cory Aukes, his office posted a notice at the entrance of the Namewag Camp Monday.
Aukes claims camp members were driving on a trail through tax-forfeited land not open to vehicular traffic in order to access the camp, and that the trail would eventually be barricaded.
Members were allowed to leave but not permitted to return by car, said the release.
The county land-use ordinance cited applies only to vehicular traffic, and people are allowed to travel by foot or access off of Big Buck Drive, which is a public roadway.
In response to this action, the 1855 Treaty Authority, a legal group representing Ojibwe bands including White Earth, claims Hubbard County blocked a public road, and the barricade “violated Chippewa treaty rights and simple due process of law.”
The letter, signed by Executive Director Frank Bibeau, says the camp was on private land and that private landowner disputes are typically handled in civil court.
According to Honor the Earth, a nonprofit opposed to the construction of the new Line 3 pipeline, the Namewag Camp initially opened in June of 2018, and camp members have reportedly been able to access the site unencumbered until this week.
Enbridge’s new Line 3 pipeline reroutes the existing Line 3 away from the Leech Lake Reservation, with the new route going south from the Clearbrook terminal.
When complete, expected later this year, the pipeline will be able to resume full capacity of transporting 760,000 barrels of crude oil each day, with an ending destination at a refinery in Superior, Wisc.
Namewag is the Ojibwe word for sturgeon. The namewag is said to carry all Ojibwe clans on its back.