Thursday, 23 May 2019

Today, the RCMP moved to enforce an injunction on behalf of Alton Gas (a subsidiary of Alberta-based AltaGas) against Mi’kmaq water protectors at the Shubenacadie River. They arrested Mi’kmaq grandmothers, and have blocked others from accessing the site.

Join us at the legislature to make a public show of solidarity against this clear violation of the treaties of Peace and Friendship.

Most news organizations in Nova Scotia refer to the Alton Gas water protectors as protesters. I suspect many journalists and editors gravitate to the term protesters because it feels like the more neutral term. The problem is, when you take a closer look, you will find it’s not so neutral after all.

This weekend we present a short documentary produced by distinguished filmmaker, drummer, teacher and author Catherine Martin about the first Idle No More event in Nova Scotia, on December 14, 2012 at the Grand Parade across from City Hall in Halifax.   

Nova Scotia indie filmmaker Ann Verrall often makes movies and documentaries collaborating with youths , and she’s really good at it. What’s with that Treaty? is a great example. The video was made by students of We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq School in Cape Breton during a 5-day video intensive. Students document Treaty Day activities, Orange Shirt Day, meet with elders Joe Googoo, Magit Poulette, Ben Sylliboy, and Malglit Pelletier, and explore Treaty Education. Students also talk about the impact of residential school on them. 

The Mi’kmaq often refer to Black Ash wood as white gold: It’s the perfect material for basket-making, but now that the Emerald Ash Borer has arrived on the east coast, the Black Ash is in danger of disappearing entirely in Nova Scotia. Quentin Kerr investigates these new threats to the Black Ash tree, and how Mi’kmawey Forestry, imbued with the spirit of Netukulimk, is doing what it can to preserve the species.

Check out this weekend’s Weekend video, We story the land, a documentary by the always excellent Martha Stiegman (and co-produced and directed by Sherry Pictou) that follows seven paddlers from L’sitkuk (Bear River First Nation) as they travel inland following almost forgotten traditional Mi’kmaq canoe routes. It’s really good.

Ricky RIchard reflects on the tremendous debt he and fellow Acadians owe to the Mi’kmaq for shielding them when they were chased and deported by the British. “I am alive today because of the Mi’kmaq. I want to thank them. I owe them my life and that is a debt I cannot possibly repay. … My life is theirs, but I am ashamed of the way we have treated the Mi’kmaq. We have dispossessed them of their land, their livelihood, their ways, their dignity. History teaches us that too many injustices have been brought to bear on such a generous and welcoming people,” writes Richard in this remarkable open letter.