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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What the frack?

A few months ago, I stumbled across a British blog (here in Canada, we can't say English when we refer to people from England because in our political context, English refers to the parts of Canada that aren't French) and have enjoyed its postings about the ups and downs of homeschooling a couple of boys. Selina Gough lives in rural England and describes The Mucky Root as The everyday journeys and stories of a nature loving, home educating amateur forager and mother.

Her most recent post describes a trip to the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp with her boys to support the camp's efforts to prevent fracking near the community of Salford outside Manchester. Brent Patterson of the Council of Canadians has put together a summary of the camp's activities to date - the company doing the exploration for shale gas is IGas, which, Patterson says is 20 per cent owned by Calgary-based Nexen Inc.

Thanks to Selina for taking me there. The British have a lot to teach us about long-term on-the-land protest. Selina writes:

There is a sign that declares that this camp is the frontline against fracking - and that is exactly what it feels like. I couldn't help but admire the commitment and resilience of this core group of protesters, who prefer to be called 'protectors'. I wanted to know more of who they are and what their stories were but I got a sense that for them, right now, this was the only story that mattered. We joined them on their afternoon walk-down, the boys and I, holding hands as campers and other protectors emerged from the depths of the dark communal tents and from the edges of the lane. Scattered bodies becoming one mass in front of the line of police and the slowly advancing trucks. There was no unruliness from this crowd - a little weariness, some stubbornness and a good helping of frustration but mostly just peaceful people, trying to register their objection, to resist big business and its continually callous agenda and to fight, in the only way they know how, for the very ground beneath our feet.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sheila. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get back to you! I love the spirit behind this blog. Our government continues to push for further fracking in complete disregard for the well-being of its citizens and of our land. May we all find the strength to continue to oppose the interests of profit-making over humanity. x