Our resolve to oppose the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion was reignited this past winter. The massive fires in Australia caused by climate change alarmed us while the steadfast resistance of the traditional Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership to Coastal Gaslink inspired us. In the face of a militarized RCMP invasion they stood strong and re-energized the Indigenous solidarity movement all across the country.
We all paused our on-the-ground opposition to climate destroying tar sands and pipeline expansion to curb the spread of COVID – 19. But the companies – and the governments behind them – have pushed ahead in callous disregard of workers’ safety and the sustainability of life itself. This month there was another oil spill on unceded Sto:lo terrtiory. We are now witnessing massive clearcutting taking place on our territory to pave the way for the tripling of TransMountain bitumen export capacity.
Nlaka’pamux Grassroots is preparing to re-launch the resistance by lighting a Sacred Fire on our traditional and un-ceded territory. The four day ceremony will signal the taking up once again of our sacred responsibility to protect the land and waters for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. This will be an Elders’ Sacred Fire, and they will lead the ceremony and prayers for protection during this critical time when the future of humanity itself hangs in the balance.
There is a great sense of urgency as pipeline construction is being fast-tracked. This outdoor ceremony will include social distancing because while our people’s health is paramount we all still need to stand up to protect Mother Earth.
The Nlaka’pamux Nation has full and complete rights and jurisdiction over our territory and we need our Elder’s prayers to bless our path to protecting Mother Earth. But the long and continuing legacy of colonialism means like all Indigenous Nations we are under-funded and under-resourced. We need your support and solidarity to accompany us on this path.
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