“On Monday, many of our Native workers again were forced to leave their job site on the Line 3 replacement project because protesters trespassed into a construction site and vandalized equipment. This not only created a hardship for our workers, it created additional challenges for our companies.
“Protests that disrupt work, damage property, and threaten our employees while claiming to be on behalf of our Native people (are) creating additional tension and consequences within our tribal communities. They also intentionally create a false narrative that there is no Native American support for this project and the economic impacts and opportunities it brings to our people.
“We respect the rights of everyone to express their opinions and to protest. As Native people, making sure our voice is heard is even more important and essential, yet what happened on Monday went far beyond and resulted in Native workers being forced to stop working as their job sites were overrun by protesters.
“As a united voice of Tribal businesses, contractors and workers, we are encouraging leaders of Tribal communities across Minnesota to renounce these actions and call on these groups to stop future destructive and unlawful protests that endanger our Native workers and divide the communities in which we work and live.”
— This letter to “Minnesota Tribal Leaders in the Community and Government” was distributed publicly Wednesday, including to the News Tribune. The letter was signed by six representatives of Minnesota-based, tribal-owned companies whose businesses and employees were impacted by Monday’s Line 3 protests. The signers were Josh Whitebird and Thomas Whitebird of the company Whitebird Casper and members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Mike Bass, owner of MB Customs Development and a member of the Boise Forte Band of Chippewa; James Jones Jr., owner of Dirt Divers CRM and a member of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe; Robert Abramowski, president and CEO of FDL Pipeline Services and FDL Star Construction Inc., and a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; and Matt Gordon of White Earth Nation, vice president of Gordon Construction.