“Wild Rice” Is The Plaintiff In Minnesota/ND Oil Pipeline Lawsuit.
Ya can't make this stuff up! Will "Wild Rice" take the stand?
Wild rice is the lead plaintiff in a complaint filed Wednesday in White Earth Nation Tribal Court and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is one of the defendants. Those that know wild rice best, refer to it as manoomin; an Ojibwe word which can translate to good seed. But for my purposes I'm sticking with "wild rice".
It's only the second "rights of nature" case to be filed in the U.S.
Where Dr. Suess' Lorax claimed "I speak for the trees", wild rice is leading the charge on this one. The Republic.com explains the legal theory is- nature itself has the right to exist and flourish. I think after all the usual pipeline protest legal wrangling has been exhausted, this is just a really fun last-ditch legal resource.
I know North Dakotans are surely still suffering from pipeline protest fatigue, especially around the Bismarck/Mandan area. So maybe you missed my story from June 2021, about the arrest of over 250 water protectors protesting the oil pipeline replacement of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 that crosses North Dakota and Minnesota on it's way to Lake Superior in Wisconsin. But in two months those protests haven't slowed a bit.
To date more than 700 people have been charged for demonstrating along the route.
Wild rice is claiming it's rights have been violated in addition to the treaty rights of tribal members to gather wild rice, fish, and hunt outside reservations. Wild rice goes so far as to accuse Enbridge of pumping up to 5 billion gallons of groundwater out of their construction areas. During a drought no less.
It appears "wild rice" isn't seeking financial reparations instead it's just trying to halt the construction.
Is there a "grain" of hope for this case? In the matter of Wild Rice v. MDNR what say you good people? Yea or Nay?
As the author of this piece I need to disclose that chicken wild rice soup is absolutely my favorite. I tried to not let that relationship flavor the truth.