After eight years of resistance led by grassroots Mi’kmaw grandmothers and water protectors to defend the Shubenacadie River from Alton Gas, the company has announced they will be decommissioning this project.
We wish to express with the utmost humility and gratitude our sincere thanks to Mi’kmaq rights holders, grandmothers, Elders, youth, and allies for all the support over the last eight years in standing to protect our sacred river.
It was the unity of all these people, and the diversity of their sincere efforts, that led to this day.
“My main concern has always been to protect this river for the next seven generations so they can fish as our ancestors did,” said Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman (Darlene Gilbert). “And so today, I am content.”
The Alton Gas project proposed to dump toxic brine into the sacred Shubenacadie River. This river is the centre of the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1752 and 1760, which did not cede land or surrender the right for Mi’kmaq to govern themselves and live under their own law. These treaties have been challenged in practice and in court many times, and the record speaks for itself – the treaties have been consistently affirmed and upheld by the court.
“They know they can’t challenge our Inherent rights and Aboriginal title because this is and always will be unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq,” Kukuwes Wowkis (Madonna Bernard).
“Our water is life for all of life, down to the little insects, birds, trees, plants, animals, and all humans,” says Kiju Muin (Paula Isaac). “Without water, none of this – or us – would be here and that’s why we stand to protect future generations. M’sit nokomaq.”
May our resistance be a symbol of perseverance to all those who honour sacred lands and water, and are protecting water and lands for all life across Turtle Island and around the world.