Love Water Not Oil spirit run preview begins Saturday
BENA--Motorists travelling along Highway 2 east of Bemidji will see something extra among the scenery this weekend as "Love Water Not Oil" horseback riders set out on a 30 mile jaunt to raise awareness of oil practices.
BENA-Motorists travelling along Highway 2 east of Bemidji will see something extra among the scenery this weekend as "Love Water Not Oil" horseback riders set out on a 30 mile jaunt to raise awareness of oil practices.
The ride will begin Saturday morning in Ball Club. Ride organizer Annie Humphrey said the crew of about 20 people will stop at the Big Winnie Campground in Bena Saturday evening for an information sharing gathering.
"My only mission here is to get people driving by on Highway 2 to start thinking about oil and the pipeline," Humphrey said.
Humphrey is not a representative of Honor the Earth, an organization that addresses the needs of the Native environmental needs movement, but has performed as a singer and musician at Honor the Earth events. This weekend's ride is the first Humphrey has organized. It is a preview to the third annual Honor the Earth "Love Water Not Oil" tour set to begin later in August.
Humphrey said people are coming from as far as S. Lake, about an hour northeast of Cass Lake, to participate in the ride. She said Enbridge has proposed abandoning a portion of the pipeline that runs along Highway 2 on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.
"We're all dependent on oil, but it's the way it's being transported and extracted that could be done more responsibly," Humphrey said. "If water is contaminated it affects everyone on the water, it's not just a Native concern."
When riders stop Saturday night in Bena, information will be available to educate people on the issue along with singing, food and a free t-shirt. The group will depart the camp Sunday morning for Cass Lake.
The third annual "Love Water Not Oil" tour begins Aug. 20 on Madeline Island on Lake Superior with a line up of concerts spanning three nights. Humphrey is listed as one of the artists. The tour includes horseback riding, canoeing, artwork and celebrations with stops in Duluth, Mille Lacs, Nisswa and Park Rapids before the spiritual ride and canoe trip concludes in Bemidji on Sept. 2. Additional information can be found at www.honorearth.org .