On my desk is a jarful of water-polished stones from Christian Island from Beth Brass Elson. Beth camped out at Site 41, protesting the harmful effect it would have on land and water. The stones remind me of this, that Beth’s people have been in North America for a very long time, that the stones themselves are millions, maybe billions, of years old. In the moment the stones are powerful, but over time, the stones were not stones, were lava or shell and, eroded by water, will be sand, whereas the water will be water as long as the sun shines. But long before then you and I and whatever harmful effects we’ve had on land and water will be dust. image from wikipedia.
Here’s a copy of the letter I sent my MP and MPP:
dear mr stanton and mr dunlop,
as you know, today is world water day. i have three concerns: 1. declining water levels on the great lakes; 2. water use in northern alberta; 3. selling bottled water.
1. regarding declining water levels on the great lakes, it strikes me this is both a provincial and federal concern; indeed it’s a concern for all of us. like you, i grew up playing, swimming, and fishing in them. what is your party doing to ensure this for generations?
2. regarding water use in northern alberta, which is a federal concern, i am opposed to its use for tar sands development. i realize that billions of dollars and many jobs depend on this, but it’s making the lakes and rivers toxic, on which people and countless others depend. future dollars and jobs will have to be spent to clean up. what is your party doing to alleviate these?
3. regarding selling bottled water, especially to minors. water is a right, not a commodity. quebec does not allow bottled water to be advertised to minors; would ontario do the same? tap water has to be tested several time a day, but bottle water only rarely. what is your party doing to promote tap water and restrict selling bottled water, especially to minors?
Also, to mark water, KAIROS posts ‘This year, as we face new threats to water from Omnibus Bill C-45’s changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA), we are marking World Water Day with renewed determination and energy. Inspired by Indigenous peoples’ call to all Canadians to enter into right relationship with the earth and its peoples, Canadians have responded with faith and in solidarity. In January 2013 Chief Shining Turtle of Whitefish River First Nation renewed the call:
Let us work together, to ensure respect for earth, the water and our fellow creatures. Let us work together to honour the sacred treaty relationship we have with one another. Let us work together to creatively, peacefully and firmly push our government to repeal or amend the recently-passed laws which will harm the earth and us all. Let us join together in the circle dance of respect for each other and the earth.
In response, today KAIROS is launching “Our Waters, Our Life,” a campaign from World Water Day through National Aboriginal Day (June 21) in which we’re asking you to be in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and to protect water. Stay tuned – you’ll soon be able to participate in a variety of actions: sign our call around Bill C-45; put your community on our watershed/traditional territory map; host an event in your community; and participate in a national action talking place in Ottawa around National Aboriginal Day! Get a sneak peak at www.kairoscanada.org/ourwater. images from kairos, the cbc.