[Episcopal News Service] Earlier this week, thousands of people, including Episcopalians from as far as Oregon and Washington, D.C., answered an invitation from Anishinaabe women and traveled to the headwaters of the Mississippi River – Bear Creek, as the Anishinaabe call it – to join them in a nonviolent protest to stop construction on an oil pipeline crossing treaty land in northern Minnesota where the tribe hunts, fishes and gathers wild rice.
“From the Anishinaabe side, their interpretation is that the land is given by God; it is holy land, it’s sacred land. As co-tenants of that land, they are responsible for anything and everything that happens there; it’s not theirs to own, it’s theirs to care for,” the Rev. Matthew Cobb told Episcopal News Service on June 9. Cobb is a regional missioner for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and serves four congregations in the northern third of the state: two on the Leech Lake Reservation, one on the Red Lake Nation and one in Bemidji.
The Anishinaabe, or Ojibwe, as the Indigenous peoples in the upper Great Lakes region have been called, see themselves in covenant with nature, explained Cobb, who was invited by the Rev. Robert Two Bulls, Minnesota’s Indigenous missioner, to serve the church’s northern region. Through that covenant with nature, the Anishinaabe take care of the land and the water. Read more here