On August 2, 2015, nearly two dozen (or more) Anishinaabe Women and Men, Youth and Elders will be joined by supporters in a week-long walk against the Energy East Pipeline. The walk will cover more than 125 km of TransCanada’s proposed pipeline route where it crosses and threatens more than a dozen waterways in Treaty 3 Territory. The Anishinaabe Water Walk is organized by Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence (GIWD).
What: The Anishinaabe Water Walk is a week-long walk along the route of the proposed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline project, to protect the waters of Treaty 3 Territories.
When: Sunday August 2 to Saturday August 8, 2015.
Where: Highway 17, Eagle Lake to Shoal Lake, Ontario, Treaty 3. (see itinerary below for details)
Why: The Energy East Pipeline would be the highest volume tarsands pipeline on the continent—tarsands growth representing one of the biggest threats to the planet’s changing climate—and given recent pipeline spills, amongst other concerns, constitutes an unacceptable risk to local waterways and the health of lands, wildlife and people in Treaty 3 Anishinaabe Territories.
Organizing against oil pipelines and other environmentally destructive resource extraction industries is just one example of how First Nations Peoples are positioned at the forefront of the contemporary environmental movement, and are engaged in an intertwined process of protecting lands and waters in their Territories while also forwarding political sovereignty and cultural resurgence.
Who: Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence was founded in 2014 by Anishinaabe Women from Treaty 3 communities as a response to the threat posed by the Energy East pipeline.
Contact: Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence, Media Liaison @ GrassrootsIndigenous2015@gmail.com
“The Love we hold for our children is the same we hold for the land, the water, the air and the future generations which depend on the decisions we make today. Water is life. Our Anishinaabe laws and values tell us everything we need to know about Energy East. That is why we say no.”
-Fawn Wapioke, Lead Water Walker, Shoal Lake #39 mother and Chief.
“It is very important that we as Anishinabek youth stand up and start acting and fighting for the water. We need to speak out to everybody and show them that the mistreatment of water needs to stop now. All people across Turtle Island, from all walks of life need to realize that our water is at risk from industry like this pipeline, and we need to start thinking about the future we are leaving for our children.”
-Edmond Jack, Lead Water Walker, Grassy Narrows Youth Organization.
“The Anishinaabe Water Walk in our home territory is to bring awareness to people of the threats to this very precious life giving source. The walk is meant to call attention to what is threatening the water—mercury in the English-Wabigoon River near Grassy Narrows, new mining near Wabaskang, the proposed Goliath Gold Mine near Wabigoon, and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline which is going through the process of consultations to push the oil through these lands. These are the kind of serious water issues people need to look at in Kenora and Treaty 3 if they want to keep the water pristine for future generations—we need to be good ancestors. ”
-Judy Da Silva, Water Walk Organizer, Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence, Grassy Narrows mother and grandmother.
“First Nations are on the forefront of the fight against the impacts of climate change, as well as its primary drivers like the expansion of Canada's tar sands and its pipeline infrastructure such as the TransCanada Energy East pipeline proposal. The Sacred Water Walk in Treaty 3 Territory against the path of the project is one of the most important grassroots initiatives to support in this major fight to protect our water, land and collective rights against the agenda of big oil and the Harper government.”
-Clayton Thomas-Muller, Indigenous Climate Campaigner, 350.org.
Evenings, at camp sites, will include daily traditional teachings and/or workshops presented by experienced facilitators, Elders, and others.
Saturday, August 1 – Opening Ceremony at Eagle Lake Pow Wow, 9-11am
Pow Wow breakfast sponsored and served by GIWD
Sunday, August 2 – Start at Eagle Lake Pow Wow grounds to Eagle Lake Bypass. Distance 16 km. Camping at Eagle Lake Pow Wow Grounds.
Youth Walk – Sunday morning, children will be leading the day’s portion of the Walk
Monday, August 3 – Eagle Lake Bypass to Km 30, Vermillion Bay. Distance 30 km. Camping at Eagle Lake.
Tuesday, August 4 – Start at Km 30 to Dixie Lake. Distance 30 km. Camping at Willard Lake.
Wednesday, August 5 – Dixie Lake to Kenora Bypass. Distance 30 km. Camping at Rushing River.
Thursday, August 6 – Kenora Bypass East to Kenora Bypass West. Distance 30 km. Camping at Grand Council Treaty 3.
Walk will be going through downtown Kenora.
Friday, August 7 – Kenora Bypass West to Shoal Lake Junction. Distance 30 km. Camping at Shoal Lake Pow wow Grounds.
Saturday, August 8 – Shoal Lake Junction to Shoal Lake Pow Wow Grounds. Distance 9 km. Camping at shoal Lake Pow Wow Grounds.
MORE DETAILS INCLUDING DAILY EVENTS AND START TIMES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON.