“Wild Rice” is the plaintiff in the Minnesota / ND Oil Pipeline lawsuit


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You can’t make that stuff up! Will “Wild Rice” take a stand?

Wild rice is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in the White Earth Nation Tribal Court on Wednesday, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is one of the defendants. Those who know wild rice best refer to it as manoomin; an Ojibwe word that translates as good seed. But for my purposes I stick to “wild rice”.

It is only the second “natural law case” that has been filed in the USA

Where Dr. Suess’ Lorax claimed “I speak for the trees”, Wildreis leads the indictment in this case. The Republic.com explains the legal theory: Nature itself has the right to exist and flourish. I think after all of the usual legal arguments for pipeline protests have run out, this is just a really fun final legal resource.

I know that North Dakotans certainly still suffer from the fatigue of pipeline protests, especially in the Bismarck / Mandan area. You may have missed my June 2021 story about the arrest of over 250 water conservationists protesting the replacement of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline that crosses North Dakota and Minnesota on its way to Lake Superior, Wisconsin. But in two months these protests haven’t abated a bit.

So far, more than 700 people have been charged with demonstrations along the route.

Wild rice claims its rights have been violated in addition to the tribal members’ contractual rights to collect, fish and hunt wild rice outside of reserves. Wild rice goes so far as to accuse Enbridge of pumping up to 5 billion gallons of groundwater out of their building lots. No less during a drought.

It seems that “wild rice” is not demanding any financial compensation, it is only trying to stop its construction.

In this case, is there a “grain” of hope? What do you guys say about Wild Rice v. MDNR? Yes or no?

As the author of this article, I have to disclose that chicken and wild rice soup is my all-time favorite. I tried not to let this relationship taste the truth.


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