A ‘Sunrise Ceremony’ In Niagara Falls for what are left of our Great Lakes waters and wetlands

All are Invited to George Bukator Park off  Chippawa Parkway and Stanley Avenue  in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Saturday, December 15th at 7.am.

An Invite to All from Niagara’s Indigenous Community

Posted December 10th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large –

The following invitation to to this special event is being circulated by members of the Indigenous community , including Karl Dockstader  who has been fighting passionately with many others across our region to save the provincially significant wetlands and other natural riches in the sprawling Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls from an urban development project that could and shoud be built somewhere else.

“Ceremony won’t bring back the Wetlands, but respecting water as living will bring us strength,” said Dockstader in a recent Facebook note about this Sunrise Ceremony event.

“All are welcome to attend, (and) please feel free to share with your friends,” he added in his note. “This will be at the West Entrance to the (George Bukator Park) by the Willow Tree at 7am on (Saturday) December 15th.”

In a recent story that appeared in an International Joint Commission newsletter, Kevin Bunch, a staff member from this Canada/U.S. watchdog body for the Great Lakes, had this to say about the vital role wetlands play for us –  

“In the era of climate change, resiliency – making sure that both human communities and habitat for plants and animals can best survive extreme weather events, flooding, and rising temperatures – is more important than ever,” he wrote.”Wetlands are a part of solving that puzzle.”

“Protecting and restoring wetlands can play a key role in helping communities and wildlife manage these changes. Aside from providing habitat and expanding the potential for biodiversity, wetlands provide useful services to waterfront regions, improving water quality and limiting flood damages while also .”

Niagara area citizens have been fighting to save wetlands like this provincially significant one – on lands targeted for development – in Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls. The lands fall within the Niagara River watershed in the Great Lakes basin. File photo

Over the past couple of  centuries, more than 90 per cent of the  wetlands that were part of the Niagara environment when the first white settlers arrived have been lost to urban development and other human activities.

Of those that remain, Ontario experts have designated a number of wetlands in Niagara Falls’ Thundering Waters Forest – land that falls within a major watershed to the Niagara River and lower Great Lakes  – as “provincially significant” in terms of their importance to maintaining a health ecosystem.

Yet this area remains a target of a major development project that is backed by Chinese investors and supported by politicians in Niagara who try to tell the rest of us that we have to understand that there needs to be “a balance” between conservation and economic growth.

Well, we’ve already balanced our way down to less than 10 per cent of our region’s wetlands left, and if we continue to fall for the false choice too many of our political leaders give us between economic growth and  protecting what is left of our natural heritage, the day will come when it will be all gone.

We can no longer afford to choose between growth and protecting our environment, and we don’t have to – there are other places where urban development like this can go without putting our wetlands and watersheds at risk – and that is one of the reasons why ceremonies like this that celebrate our precious water resources are so important.

Now here is an important message from a member of the Indigenous community –

Biidaasige Josephine Mandamin and Waasekom invite All Nations to join us for Round 3 of the Great Lakes Collective Petitions on December 15th, 2018 at sunrise.

Josephine said that we must keep the intentions the same. We must move forward and continue our work for the water.

Our last effort gathered over 400 self organizing groups to join together for petition, prayer and ceremony for the health of our ancestors the Great Lakes, the Rivers, Lakes and Oceans.

We encourage everyone to join with us again to continue a collective effort to raise consciousness about the sacredness of water.

All clans, lodges, communities, nations be welcome to join in their own way. We ask that everyone bring someone or volunteer to organize for your area.

Together these petitions set forward our intentions to remain committed to taking care of the water. For the water we can do it.

Please dress warm

Miigwech

To click on the Save Thunderering Waters Forest Facebook page, click on – https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveThunderingWatersForest/?ref=gs&tn-str=*F&fref=gs&dti=1072934006119623&hc_location=group_dialog .

To view a Facebook page on the event, click on – https://www.facebook.com/events/261931561131309/?ti=as

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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