KEEWATIN — Speaking at a public groundbreaking for a new section of pipeline, Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco surprised those assembled by beginning the ceremony with a land acknowledgement, honoring the Native peoples who were the first inhabitants of the region.
“It is with reverence to the Anishinaabe peoples, including the Ojibwe, that we stand on this land today; it is with gratitude that every one of us benefits equally from its resources,” said the CEO, whose net worth was estimated at $44.1 million as of June of 2019.
Asked why he began the pipeline project, which climate scientists predict will leave surrounding prairie and lake land uninhabitable within the next 10-15 years and which multiple Tribal groups vehemently oppose, with such an acknowledgment, Monaco spoke about having his eyes opened during the widely publicized protests against Enbridge’s pipeline activity in North Dakota in 2015.
“At first I was resistant, but after working with a community engagement consultant, I’ve learned how to recognize how traumatic it was for me to be called so many hurtful names by those who oppose what I do to make a living. Since then, I’ve been learning the language of healing,” said the CEO, whose salary in 2019 was $9,530,190, “it is now clear to me that we must first acknowledge those who originally settled this land.”
Monaco, who owns over 7,800 units of Enbridge stock worth an estimated $34,605,524, continued with a “call to all people everywhere to consider how you can share your resources as generously as the Anishinaabe peoples have shared with my ancestors, who fled Religious persecution in Europe.”
At press time, Monaco was expressing his disappointment at being “tone policed” by the group of nearby protestors who were about to be tear gassed.