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 “Water is Sacred. It’s the Essence of life. It’s The Only Thing That Sustains Us All As We Briefly Travel Together Through Time & Space Together on Our Tiny, Resilent Blue Orb Through a Hostile Universe!”

This should be the mantra the people of Canada and everywhere else in the world repeat to themselves as they awaken each morning to greet the new day. It’s a mantra to be repeated on the full moon of each month when we can especially feel the waters in our bodies being mystically pulled this way and that or watch as the currents and tides mystically cause the planet’s own waters to ebb and flow. It’s a mantra to be repeated everytime we turn on a tap to fill up a glass of water to quench our thirst and then stop for a moment to give thanks and ponder the whole story of the earth’s ability to quench the thirst of so many other lifeforms; the same water that always was since the beginning of time and always will be to the end of time, and then pause for just a moment longer to consider how wondrous this precious, finite substance is that already has been in the bodies of so many famous or infamous humans or taken such a long circuitous journey through other living creatures – bears, eagles, salmon – going all the way back to the ancient dinosaurs and beyond and how it will continue to enrich our own lives as it did their’s. It’s a mantra to be repeated, too, before Canadians and the peoples of the world decide to give any further support whatsoever to those who continue to pursue a destructive fossil-fuelled way of life that, daily, through the primitive, brutal mining and extraction of countless ores and minerals is poisoning and destroying forever this precious, finite substance that without it the Earth no longer would be blue but be just another shrivelled-up, lifeless hulk hurtling through empty space.

In a National Observer opinion article (“The Juggernaut of corporate oil must be stopped” June 18th 2019), Guujaaw, an Hereditary Chief Gidansta of the Haida Nation, who also is an advisor to British Columbia’s Coastal First Nations, spoke out in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to approve the extension of the controversial TransMountain Pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the coastal waters of British Columbia and beyond.

Guujaaw’s words, now should be dubbed “The Battle Cry of the Blue Planet”, that, in truth, is, a very old battle cry that has been sounded in every corner of the earth over the centuries many times over in as many ways as there are a multitude of fine orators who have all come and gone upon our earth. It should be taken as a renewed living retort to all those Canadian politicans-indian leaders-energy CEO’s and voters alike who consider themselves, consciously or unconsciously, to be part of the corporate world order as they willingly and knowingly continue to sacrifice enormous amounts of its precious finite waters to continue the pumping of highly toxic dirty bitumen from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the rest of the world.

Guujaaw/Chief Gidansta simply seeks to remind us of what the basic responsibilities are that we of this living time in the evolution of the earth now must do, when he says:

Through the years of legal battles and a very measured examination of Aboriginal issues, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has given well-considered definition to Rights and Aboriginal Title in the context of Canada in the modern world.

Aboriginal Rights are a far-reaching right of the collective, held not only for the present generation but for all succeeding generations. The rights also include an economic component coupled with a very deliberate and appropriate “inherent limit,” which requires that the land “not be used in a way that is irreconcilable with the attachment an Aboriginal group has with the land” nor shall it be encumbered in ways “that would substantially deprive future generations of the benefit of the land.” This is, in fact, a limit that, if applied to all, could go a long way in looking after the earth.

In difficult times, our people stood to look after our land and restore our rights leaving us a solid legal base from which we can uphold our responsibilities. This changed the legal and political dynamic requiring governments and industries not only to consult, but to make accommodations, while the Supreme Court also called out for “reconciliation.”

And so it began: out of the sacrifice and efforts of our champions to look after the lands came the attention of Corporate Oil, with the tried solution of simply buying its way.

Regardless of owner or name, a pipeline and all that comes with it crosses the “inherent limit” and certainly does not carry any Aboriginal Rights. There is none amongst us of any colour or creed that can claim a right to disregard the neighbour downstream, or who can claim a right to neglect life. There is none amongst us with the right to harm the great killer whale or the little barnacle.

An Indian pipeline would be a business venture as any other and is not “reconciliation”; rather, an infringement and a threat.

Be certain that the apparatus killing this planet is a nasty one and it seems intent on finishing the dirty deed. It gains strength through violence with the jack-booted obedient servants at its beck and call. It is commanding enough to recruit our cousins if not you and me. Though it is tough as hell, it’s not that smart.

Left to its own devices this Juggernaut will continue killing our planet, and without intervention our fate is sealed and we may as well prepare a dignified exit, but that would be irresponsible.

While it must be stopped, don’t wait for the Indigenous people to lead. The Indians are few in number, battle-weary, and, along with the multitudes, distracted by the ballgames and trying to pay the bills. We are too easy to imprison, too easy to kill, and as you see, as fallible as any.

Be assured, however, that on the front lines the Indigenous people are already standing up for the health of the planet, already standing for basic clean air and water. Most of us love this planet and respect life before money.

Children all over the world are calling out for us to stop this careless behaviour and fix this disorder. The grown-ups still ignore the symptoms and avoid the cure.

Reach out across the chasms to your fellow earthlings, devote some time to figuring this thing out. In each of us is some measure of good and understanding of truth, and somewhere in there is the solution. There is no need to put anyone in harm’s way.

We, the multitudes, allowed it to come to this. We, the creators of the Juggernaut, have got to fix it together.

Guujaaw has laid it out quite well, there’s nothing more left to be said other than for each human being in Canada and everywhere else to now do what their individual conscience and morality directs them to do to stop all the dirty deeds of the nasty apparatus and its jack-boots in the world that daily are steadily killing all our lives and that of our crystalline Blue Planet.

We, the people, must now open up and speak truth to power in the face of the next wave of all the propaganda that the politicians, corporate CEO’s and media talking heads continue to unleash to try to convince us that what is being done to reduce the climate crisis by pumping yet more bitumen throughout the world is right for British Columbia, Canada and everone else.

All My Relations

Bio Note: Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer who, for decades, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has sought to call attention to problems of sustainability caused by excessive mega-developments, the resulting horrors of traffic gridlock, loss of single family neighbourhoods and a host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues and concerns that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

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