Say the Names...

Al Purdy wrote a wonderful poem called "Say the names say the names" which celebrates the names of Canadian rivers - Tulameen, Kleena Kleene, Similkameen, Nahanni, Kluane and on and on in a celebratory song.

Enbridge is planning to build a dual pipeline that will carry bitumen and condensate across hundreds of waterways between Edmonton and Kitimat. Some of these waterways are rivers like the Parsnip (or what's left of it), the Nechako, the Morice and others are smaller creeks whose names are often known only to the folks who live along their banks or who fish in their shadows or who bend to wash or drink as they cross paths.

I want to collect the names of these rivers and creeks, to collect your stories, your poems, your songs so we can collectively give voice to the land living under the line Enbridge plans to draw.

People have also sent me copies of their presentations to the community oral presentations. If you'd like to add your voice, email me ( your stories and I'll post them for you. The copyright remains with you.

All the best.
Sheila Peters

Friday, June 1, 2012

Masset Hearings and 4000 Reasons

The Terrace and Prince Rupert presentations have wrapped up and, this afternoon and tomorrow, the JRP is in Masset. Also tomorrow, we'll be gathering in Smithers for the 4000 Reasons Festival sponsored by the Driftwood Foundation to celebrate those who are speaking in defence of our communities.

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a history of Burns Lake by Pat Turkki published in 1973 - an amazing collection of people's stories. At the end, she quotes Herman Hesse:

For every man is not only himself, he is also the unique, particular. always significant and remarkable point where the phenomena of the world intersect once and for all and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal and sacred.

This is very much the spirit in which we put together the festival - to honour each person's story.

If you come in the afternoon (to the rotunda at Smithers Secondary  School), you'll also hear musicians and local poets reading their own work and work from The Enpipe Line: 70,000+ kms of poetry written in resistance to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal. Admission to the afternoon is by donation; there's a $15 salmon BBQ at 5 pm and a gala concert in the evening (see link above for details). Price: $25.

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