Current Projects

Ending Canadian government support and protection for Line 5 Pipeline

Line 5 is a dangerous and destructive pipeline, carrying crude oil and gas originating in Canada through Anishinaabe territories in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario. The pipeline also crosses the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, which contain 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water. Its ongoing operation in the Great Lakes region has resulted in over 30 spills to date, releasing 1.1 million gallons of petroleum into the environment.

Line 5 is a 70-year-old pipeline originally anticipated to last 50 years. Every minute it continues to operate extends the likelihood of further catastrophic oil spills along its route, threatening Indigenous territory, culture, and way of life, as well as precious freshwater bodies like the Great Lakes. And, it exacerbates climate change at a time when fossil fuel phase out is critical.

For these reasons, Indigenous communities have refused to renew pipeline easements, banished Line 5 from their territories, and called for the decommissioning of Line 5 to protect their human rights to life, culture, a healthy environment, and free, prior, and informed consent.

The Canadian government, however, has extended its support for Line 5 despite the dangers that this pipeline poses. In disregard for the rights of Indigenous peoples, Canada’s government has sought to shield the pipeline company, Enbridge, from having to shut down Line 5, invoking the 1977 Transit Pipeline Treaty with the U.S. and making legal submissions in U.S. courts to keep the pipeline operating.

Students will work with Representatives of 51 Tribal and First Nations of Anishinaabe People, whose traditional territories encompass the Upper Great Lakes in regions now part of the US and Canada, to submit a request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that Canada protect those who are in a serious and urgent situation from suffering irreparable harm because of the Line 5 pipeline.

Accountability of a Canadian Resource Extraction Company for Human Rights Abuses Abroad

Students will support, through legal research and analysis, an anticipated claim relating to serious human rights abuses committed by employees of a Canadian resource extraction company that operates abroad. The claim has the potential to progress corporate accountability by redressing the survivors in this case while setting a precedent for future harms to be remedied. 

Investigation and Complaint against ReconAfrica, a Canada-based mining company

ReconAfrica is a Canadian oil and gas exploration company headquartered in Calgary and carrying out operations in Namibia and Botswana. The company’s exploration drilling has caught global attention and attracted accusations of disrupting ecosystems. ReconAfrica’s operations are suspected to be harming the environment and causing injury to the locals of Namibia. There are concerns of community members being harassed by local police and ReconAfrica for raising their voice against the company’s alleged harmful operations.  

Students will be working with an alliance in Namibia dedicated to stopping ReconAfrica’s oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Okavango River Basin by pursuing recourse for affected individuals and communities against ReconAfrica in Canada.


* Please Note: The IHRP only selects projects through referrals from NGOs. We do not provide legal services to individuals without a referral from an NGO.