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Enbridge settles with Red Lake Nation

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World Pipelines,

Enbridge Energy is to pay the Red Lake Nation in northern Minnesota a sum of US$18.5 million to settle a dispute over unauthorised use of a small parcel of tribal land.

In a split vote, the Red Lake Tribal Council accepted the Enbridge settlement in late December.

The settlement pays for less than a half-acre of land and restitution for 65 years of unauthorised use, according to reports.

Starting in 1950, Lakehead Pipeline - now owned by Enbridge - laid four oil pipelines through a small isolated section of Red Lake land. The tribe never gave the company permission and was never paid for use of the land.

The parcel of land, known as Lot 8, was lost in legal paperwork. A nearby landowner thought it was part of his land, and received easements when the pipelines came through. But in 2007, a US Bureau of Indian Affairs legal team was working to clarify the borders of tribal land when it realised Red Lake still legally owned Lot 8, meaning four Enbridge pipelines had trespassed on tribal land for decades.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: Washington TimesMinnesota Public Radio

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