Text: Willi Nolan’s Talk at the Wolastoq Longhouse 5 November 2013

 

November 8, 2013 at 7:23pm

REPRESENTING THE CLAN MOTHERS OF SIGNIGTOG – WILLI NOLAN

Unity and Solidarity Rally – Fredericton, New Brunswick – November 5, 2013

 

YouTube link to the talk – http://youtu.be/C2xNcIHKpHI

 

Text of Willi Nolan’s Talk at the Wolastoq Longhouse 5 November 2013

I am very proud and humbled to be honoured to offer these words as a representative of the Clan Mothers of Signigtog Mi’kmaq territory.

Since late spring, Signigtog-Mi’kmaq people have been giving their minds, hearts and bodies to stop the irreparable ruin of the lands and waters from seismic testing and extraction of shale gas from deep within Mother Earth. Many have sacrificed themselves and been arrested and mistreated by police and attacked by industry employees. Many families within the First Peoples have become divided. We know that the burden on all families is heavy. So many are needing to heal from the trauma of witnessing and surviving harsh, violent attacks and false accusations by government, police and the media. SWN is accusing us of committing illegal acts and threatening allies with seizure of property to pay for the time they lost while trying to inflict fear and harm on us.

These measures will fail, because the Mi’kmaq people of Signigtog are not allowing these attacks and distractions to take  focus off the good course that has begun with allied communities. Anglophone, Acadian and relatives from other Wabanaki nations have joined us and strengthened the movement to protect the precious waters and lands that we enjoy, that we depend on for our survival and that we will preserve for our grandchildrens’s grandchildren.

The Signogtog District Grand Council has exercised its existing authority to uphold the rights and needs of the people and notified SWN, Canada and the provincial government that no pipelines or fracking operations will be allowed to develop in the territory.

The Collective of Concerned Members of Signigtog shrugged off the oppression and colonial rule and issued the first known exercise of collective authority to come from Original peoples, an historic Directive that reclaims the rights of Mi’kmaq people — it tells SWN to stop what they are doing, repair the damages that they have caused — and leave the territory. SWN must comply or face legal actions that they know they cannot win in either the court of public opinion or in international courts. Indigenous people’s rights are now well established internationally– and Signigtog-Mi’kmaq are walking forward with confidence, hand in hand with their neighbours in Peace and Friendship for our collective survival. We are all Treaty people!

Elsipogtog’s elected Chief and Council joined the Signigtog District Grand Council and Community Members to protect the water too! In an historic resolution, Chief Aaren Sock and his council reclaimed stewardship of all unoccupied native lands for his people. From now on, anyone who wants to use the lands must receive consent from the Original peoples — Irving and SWN do NOT have the right to continue to destroy animal habitats, hunting and burial grounds or sacred medicine and ceremonial sites. The forests and waters will be cared for by the people, allowed to regenerate and produce true riches for all people who live here — clean air and waters, respectfully harvested trees, careful fishing and no more poisons or senseless waste of what Creator gave us so that we can have good lives, and care for the Earth with love and respect for the generations to come.

As a woman, it seems that SWN intends the Signigtog-Mi’kmaq peoples to become victims of another form of genocide –environmental genocide. SWN wants to draw off and pollute massive amounts of fresh water, contaminate it with known poisons and dump it into our waters. Fracking creates sickness and death that lasts for generations. As women we are responsible to protect the living things that we depend on for food, medicines and strengthening ourselves spiritually and culturally.

All violations of the lands are a violation of the life-givers, of women and Mother Earth. We are part of Mother Earth. As women, as Clan Mothers, it is our solemn responsibility to respect, honour, nurture and protect Mother Earthin the same way that we respect, honour, nurture and protect ourselves, our children, grandchildren, families, communities, and the Mi’kmaq Nation, which is part of the great Wabanaki Confederacy.

We are grateful and honoured to have received so much support from all of you and from relatives all over the world. We are working hard with our men, with our allies and with our families to bring balance back to a world dominated by greed and the enslavement of people. We are reclaiming our responsibility to uphold the Original Law of Creator, where all people must live in harmony with the Earth and with each other. We welcome our sisters to walk with us as we guide our men, our communities and our families to healing, to balance in harmony with the natural world — without fracking!

Tahoe!

Msit No’kmaq – All My Relations