These past two weeks have been insane. We have camped in -25 Celsius weather and have stood by a fire outside for hours on end in this weather too! We at the Rocky Mountain Fort in BC believe in taking a stand for what you believe in and I put a call out for a show of solidarity using the hastags #keepthepeace and #nositec and the response has been amazing. We want that to continue to grow.
The Peace Valley is a Northern gem, it is prime agricultural land, it is a migratory corridor, it holds medicines and berries, it has sacred burial sites in it…..and wild onions. It is a part of Treaty 8 Territory and loved by Indigenous and Non-Indigenous alike and we do not ,and have not, wanted the Site C Hydro Dam flooding the Valley. There are already TWO dams on the Peace River. The river that was named that because the Dane Zaa and Cree made peace along that river.
A few days ago, I stood by the fire beside one of my sisters she said, “I just call it the River of Tears now, with all that has happened and is happening”
We had just finished talking about the Tse Keh Dene who were literally flooded out of their homes when the first dam was put in to place. There is a real cause for it to be called the River of Tears.
We made a call for solidarity in the form of signs, and we are continuing that call! Tweet, instagram, FB post your pic of solidarity with the hastag #keepthepeace and #nositec.
We have gotten pictures from the likes of the amazing Cindy Blackstock, to peeps who work for Amnesty International, to children who need to be listened to! We have pictures from all across Canada and places from the US, Australia, the Philippines, and even from Sami people in Finland! This is what solidarity looks like and WE ARE GRATEFUL.
Hiy Hiy, Wuujo Asonalah
Reblogged this on Dreaming the World and commented:
We were on the Rio Negro, visiting some of the 13 villages Ipu was responsible for as an elder, statesman, and shaman. Ipu’s own village had been decimated by Brazil’s ugly war on Amazonian people. Yet Ipu stayed hopeful and determined, even when his life was threatened. He was determined to serve the people.
The task of serving the people is political as well as spiritual. These realms are inseparable for Indigenous people. We are inextricably interconnected with one another and the Earth. Evil, that which separates us from our knowledge of connection, is real, and so often present in what others see as the mundane. Business as usual all too often obscured profound evil. The following post speaks to the necessity of making the harm of the everyday visible in service to the community, including the land.
I, like many people in the peace, feel flabbergasted and rather powerless in the face of the titanic forces that are about to forever change the landscape of the Peace.
My wife and I have a property near Vanderhoof, BC. All I can suggest is that interested parties examine the historical record of the building of the Kenney Dam. The effect it had on the local indigenous people was horrendous; the environmental impact still spins out today.
All I can say about that region (for I was never there before the dam came) is that it is beautiful but diminished in an immense and undefinable way that makes the heart grieve for something that is missing in the huge pine trees and stately mountainsides. The engineers who divined the Kenney Dam were surprised and surprised again by the ramifications of the dam, for which they had to scramble to make adjustments that even now do not ‘fix’ the problems caused by the giant earthen structure.
There is a sign at a local rest area that says the local people used to walk all over the region, laughing and singing, known for their happiness. Needless to say, there is a defeated, forlorn sadness that grips them now- I would not know them as the same people the information kiosk speaks of. Not to say that they are not a happy and forward thinking people… just that something has burdened their eyes and hearts with heaviness.
I mention this because it’s remarkable how few people in the Peace know about the Kenney Dam and know even less about the effects it has had on the region and both settlers and indigenous peoples alike. I would encourage any people involved in the fight against Site C to contact local Stoney Creek Elders and look into historical records of the time. There is little one can say to the government in its relentless pursuit of progress, but citing precedent is one thing that makes media and politicians sit up and take notice. Perhaps if it is brought to light how these projects have a way of spinning out of human control and highlight the lasting social and economic scars that have been left in other communities, it may be a way to make leaders realize that there is more at stake here than power generation.
I would hate to see the vibrant life of the people of the Peace region become just another unbelievable fact on a signboard at a rest area.
Keep up the great blogging!