“Water is life. It is necessary. Oil is neither. …What do we value as people?”
A Call-Out from Karl Dockstader, an Oneida First Nations community member in Niagara
Posted August 27th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
This Sunday, August 28th at 4pm in Toronto at Allan Gardens on 19 Horticultural Ave, join supporters standing in “Solidarity with Standing Rock”.
More details can be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/182590575494464/
A black snake is trying to coil around the Missouri River to choke out the water supply upon which the people of the Standing Rock Reservation are dependent.
Dakota Access LLC and Enbridge are continuing their persistent effort to drain every last drop of black gold and turn it into carbon dioxide by carving up the territory of the Black Rock Native Americans with their newest iteration of the Keystone Pipeline-like black snake of destruction.
Led by youth from their reservation, these people – original to the lands – are being supported by people across the globe who agree with their principles:
Water is life. It is necessary. Oil is neither.
Half a century earlier, the Standing Rock Reservation and the Cheyenne River Reservation had over 200,000 acres of their land flooded. Their tie to their traditional way of life had its back broken and poverty has skyrocketed since.
This earlier transgression was also in the name of Western culture’s starvation for energy, this time for a dam project.
Similarly, despite promises to be different from the previous government, the Trudeau regime is refusing to revisit the approval of the Site C Dam in British Columbia.
This is a dam that will flood Northern farmland and traditional territory. It is no more necessary than when the previous Conservative government hastened consideration of the rights of Treaty 8 First Nations.
While the need for the dam has been questioned and concerned scientists have challenged the process there will be no reconsideration. The Peace River Valley, according the Liberal Canadian government, is as good as flooded.
Without nature our existence would cease. Without us nature’s existence would continue. Knowing this it is important to respect the power of nature and try to find a way to live in harmony with the natural world.
While these principles are entrenched in the teachings of many of the people original to this land they are open to all. The sooner everybody listens the sooner we can collectively build the world into the fairest place possible.
The alternative is to continue on a course that has been plotted for the past few centuries. That course will be disastrous for those who have yet to be born.
The time to consider whether to agree or disagree has passed. The facts are clear. If we don’t change our ways there won’t be a need for debate because it will be too late.
Fortunately you can still stand with the people of Standing Rock fighting Dakota Access LLC and Enbridge.
You can stand with the Mohawks fighting Energy East.
You can stand with people defending the Peace River Valley from the unnecessary flooding caused by the Site C Dam.
You can stand with the people of Niagara fighting to protect the Thundering Waters Forest.
What do we value as a people? If it’s our Mother the Earth then she needs us to remind her we appreciate her right about now.
Karl Dockstader is an Oneida First Nations community member working to keep Niagara healthy and viable for generations to come.
He has contributed regularly to NAL to try to strengthen the dialogue around the environment, Indigenous issues, and social justice including through raising awareness on www.facebook.com/groups/SaveThunderingWatersForest .
Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.
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