Have you seen the photo from Elsipogtog of the women with their feathers in hand against a line of RCMP? That woman is Amanda Polches, an Elsipogtog community member.
Today I had the opportunity to hear from Suzanne Patles from the Mi’kmaq Warrior Speaking Tour, and hear how we in Winnipeg can support the struggle in Elsipogtog and beyond! The event went down at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House and was a large collaboration between the Council of Canadians, the Boreal Forest Network, Keewatin Otchichak, AYO!, Idle No More Winnipeg & Circle of Life Thunderbird House. She told us what it was like on the front lines, what feelings she felt as she was arrested inside the camp by RCMP, society the rage that boiled seeing elders disrespected and restated her commitment to protecting the water because “if our water goes, every life form goes along with it”.
How To Help:
- Donate to Elsipogtog Defense Fund – the community is trying to defeat SWN in the courtroom.
- Advocate for the release of the Mi’kmaq Warriors who are currently being held as political prisoners
- Get involved in your local indigenous resistance
Translation: WARRIOR UP!
I sum up the experience in 2 of her words: “warrior up”. These words, to me, mean that we really have to consider how seriously we take our commitment to defending land and water. We have to think seriously about the impacts that living the way we live will have on future generations. We have to think of the water. In that vein, my actions moving forward:
- Acknowledge and say thank you directly to the glasses of water I consume daily! (check this out here, the power of LOVE courtesy of Dr Masaru Emoto)
- If you can, donate a few bucks to the Elsipogtog Warriors (because I know I would want folks to do the same for my struggle when the time comes)
- Do my homework and get involved with local initiatives that help support and protect water (ones I know of off the top of my head include learning more about MB Hydro and how it will affect habitats of animals [and people] in Northern MB & the preservation of water in Shoal Lake, Winnipeg’s water source – specifically paying close attention to the dangers associated with the Energy East Pipeline))
- Overall, be more conservative and conscientious of when I am using water for washing my clothes, showering, brushing my teeth and other daily activities.
- BRAIN STORM – How can I, in my actions, “Warrior Up”? Does that mean escalating the types of actions we participate in? Does that mean changing the way we behave? Does that mean being more assertive in speaking up for mother earth? What does it mean to you???
Ekosi to everyone for coming out, and let’s commit to continuing to work together to ensure we have a world that we can pass to future generations!
PS – one of the highlights for me was when we were able to honour three of the local women who have been helping in the local indigenous resistance: Cheryl, Koona & Lorraine (Thanks ladies for all you do!!)