Line 5 Water Protectors Symposium Friday, May 19th, 2017

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For Immediate Release:
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to Host
‘Line 5 Water Protectors Symposium’ on May 19th

April 19, 2017

Peshawbestown, MI- The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will be hosting a ‘Line 5 Water Protectors Symposium’ on May 19th at the Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown, MI. The event will bring together a number of Tribal Leaders, First Nation Chiefs, State Legislators, nonprofits, youth and business leaders who have been fighting the 64-year-old Great Lakes oil pipeline in recent years. The event is intended to spark public action; attendees will receive a calendar of upcoming Line 5 events and a list of recommended actions. Doors will open at 5:30pm, and the program will begin at 6:30pm. The event is free and open to all.

Line 5 moves 23 million gallons of crude oil through twin pipelines that sits on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac for 4.5 miles. University of Michigan scientists have called the Straits “the worst possible place for an oil spill”. Public calls for the decommissioning of the pipeline have been increasing since 2010 when Enbridge, the same company that operates Line 5, allowed the second-largest inland oil spill in US history from their Line 6b in the Kalamazoo River in 2010. The Grand Traverse Band’s Tribal Council passed a resolution calling on the State of Michigan to decommission Line 5 in 2015.

Michigan’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board will be releasing its long awaited “Alternatives Analysis” and “Risk Analysis” reports in June, which the State will use as a guide to take action on the pipeline. In 2015, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said that the pipeline’s “days are numbered” and that the State probably would not allow its construction were approval sought today.

What: Line 5 Water Protectors Symposium, hosted by the Grand Traverse Band
When: Friday, May 19th, Doors at 5:30, Program starts at 6:30
Where: Leelanau Sands Casino Showroom, 2521 N West Bay Shore Dr, Peshawbestown, MI
Cost: Free, Open to All
Contact: Desmond Berry, Department Manager, Grand Traverse Band Natural Resources Department 231-534-7363


Friday, May 19, 2017
Leelanau Sands Casino – Showroom
5:30-6:30 p.m. Doors Open for Local Environmental Group Information Booth Displays
6:35 p.m. Program begins:

– Welcome and Introductions by GTB Tribal Chairman Thurlow “Sam” McClellan
– Water Ceremony- Anishinabek Kwewok
– Youth Speaker(s) Kristen Berry, Sonny Haworth and Annie Lively
– First Nation Representative- Canada
– Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians Tribal Chairman, Aaron Payment
– Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe Tribal Chairman, Robert Blanchard
– Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians Tribal Councilor, Percy Bird
– Michigan State Senator, Rick Jones (R-24th District)
– Michigan State Representative, Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor)
– Great Lakes Business Network, Jim Lively & Workshop Brewing Company Owner, Pete Kirkwood
– Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Eric Keller
– Michigan Environmental Council, Kate Madigan
– Water Protectors Legal Collective, Holly T. Bird
– Executive Director FLOW, Liz Kirkwood
– Executive Director Spark the Change, Kevin Gilbert
– Michigan Canoe Cold Water Rescue Team Founder, Lee Sprague