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"These are lands that have been stewarded by indigenous people for thousands of years, and now it's a responsibility of everyone to take that into consideration." @nativesoutdoors / Instagram

By Isabelle Morrison

Public spaces are for everyone, but how we perceive them and interact with them is contextual. Some activists are making their statements on the public canvas all around the world. And it's catching on.

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Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Canadian portion of the project not long after Donald Trump took the White House. Marc Chalifoux / Epic Photography for the Government of Alberta / Flickr

Environmentalists are cheering after an administrative law judge delayed approval of Enbridge Energy's controversial Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota.

The decision from Judge Ann O'Reilly comes after state regulators deemed the environmental impact statement for the proposed multibillion-dollar project as “ inadequate" and directed revisions on the document.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

While we fight to defeat President Trump's attacks on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, these are some of the real, on-the-ground threats we must keep at bay.

Following the lead of Native American tribes, The Wilderness Society and other groups have filed lawsuits against President Trump for violating the Antiquities Act when he essentially eliminated Bears Ears and greatly reduced Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

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Bears Ears National Monument Valley of the Gods. Bob Wick / BLM

By John Dougherty

President Trump's visit to Salt Lake City Monday to sign two orders slashing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments also included a meeting with Mormon religious leaders who shared "Church doctrine" with the president before he signed the controversial proclamations.

Trump's unprecedented, two-million-acre cut in public land protection was spurred by Mormon political leaders, including Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, and supported by the entire Utah congressional delegation, Utah governor and Utah legislature.

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Native American tribes are voicing concerns and demanding input on regulations on fossil fuel development in a New Mexico county, in the latest wave of tribal voices growing louder on oil and gas development across the country.

Sandoval County, home to 12 Native tribes, will hold a final vote in January on a draft ordinance to regulate oil and gas development in the county. In packed public meetings over the proposed ordinance last week, tribal leaders called out the lack of tribal input in the draft ordinance and raised concerns over the ordinance's lack of protections for water, air and land resources.

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By Kelly Hayes

In October of 2016, I wrote a piece called How to Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective. I had visited the Standing Rock camps twice at that point, at the request of local youth who coordinated skill shares for Water Protectors, and I had written extensively about the movement. About a year later, I was asked to share my thoughts on the documentary, Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock.

But how does one critique a dream? A dream isn't bound by timelines or historical nuance. It's as much feeling as fact, and the lines between the two often blur.

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By Conor Mihell

At dawn, I launch my kayak and paddle into a velvety expanse of turquoise water. Here, in northern Michigan's Straits of Mackinac, Great Lakes Michigan and Huron meet like the middle of an hourglass. To the east, the rounded form of Mackinac Island is the centerpiece of an archipelago in Lake Huron.

According to an Ojibwe creation story, this is Mishee Makinakong, the Great Turtle, whose surfacing shell became a refuge for plants and animals as floodwaters surged in the days before time. Today, droves of ferries buzz to and from the island, a bustling summer tourist destination replete with kitschy fudge shops and horse-drawn carriages.

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Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near New Salem, North Dakota. Tony Webster / Flickr / CC. BY 2.0

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) can continue operating pending an environmental review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the Corps in July 2016, arguing that the pipeline destroyed sacred sites and threatens the water quality of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that sits downstream of the site where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River in North Dakota.

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Massive pipelines would transport millions of barrels of oil per day from the Athabasca tar sands mines. howlcollective / Flickr, CC BY

By Ron Johnson

Last week, energy company TransCanada pulled the plug on its 2,800-mile Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects, which would have shipped 1.1 million barrels of crude oil from the Athabasca tar sands to refineries in eastern Canada. The move was celebrated as a victory by environmentalists and Indigenous people pushing for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

"This is a tremendous battle victory in the greater fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground and for climate justice for Indigenous nations," Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network's Keep It In The Ground project, said in a statement.

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The Little Missouri River at the Little Missouri National Grasslands, North Dakota. Zero_MSN / Flickr

By Rosalyn R. LaPier

The environmental group Deep Green Resistance recently filed a first-of-its-kind legal suit against the state of Colorado asking for personhood rights for the Colorado River.

If successful, it would mean lawsuits can brought on behalf of the river for any harm done to it, as if it were a person.

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Mogun Frejo outside his home in Stillwater, OK and Morgun Frejo at Pawnee Camp in Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. Joseph Rushmore

By Liz Blood

A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child.

He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.

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