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Winnipeg chapter at Anishinaabe Nibi Gathering on water protection law action plan

The Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter is at the Anishinaabe Nibi (water) Gathering at Whiteshell Provincial Park this May 24-27.

Chapter activists Ken Harasym and Jobb Arnold are the gathering.

The outreach for this notes, “Over the last 3-4 years, Professor Aimée Craft has been working with Elders and learning from them on Anishinaabe law, with a specific focus on water law, Anishinaabe nibi inaakonigewin. There have been 3 big gatherings thus far (Roseau River in June 2013, Whiteshell Provincial Park (Bannock Point) in September 2014 and again in Whiteshell Provincial Park in June 2015). There have also been various planning meetings and mini-gatherings with the Elders throughout these years. The purpose of these gatherings was to engage communities and learn from the elders about Anishinaabe law in our own traditional learning environment – the lodge.”

It adds, “With this, there was a lot of ceremony, songs and prayers. Professor Craft and students took notes and also recorded the elders to build this Report of the Roseau River Gathering for the public on request of the Elders.”

And the outreach highlights, “This 4-day gathering is not the conclusion of this work, rather a new chapter in the work that is ahead of us. We want to add on to and reflect on 3 major themes that have continuously come afloat over the years. These three themes are: Mino-biimaadiziwin (to walk the good life), Nindinawemaginatook or Niikaanis (all of my relations), and Anishinaabemowin (the language).”

The Council of Canadians has highlighted that the TransCanada Energy East 1.1 million barrel per day tar sands pipeline would cross through Whiteshell Provincial Park and that a pumping station would be located at nearby Falcon Lake. Maude Barlow, Andrea Harden and Brigette DePape visited Whiteshell in March 2016 to discuss opposition to the pipeline with local residents and representatives of Iskatewizaagegan (Shoal Lake 39) and Shoal Lake 40 First Nations.

The Council of Canadians has also expressed solidarity with the water protection laws adopted by the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation and the Stellat’en First Nation, as well as the Secwepemc Sacred Water Declaration, the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation Watershed Declaration, and the Save the Fraser Declaration which is backed by 130 First Nations. You can read more about those laws here.

To learn more about the Anishinaabe Nibi (water) Gathering, please click here.