Tar Sands extraction in northern Alberta is called many things – an environmental disaster, a carbon ‘bomb’, and it’s often likened to Tolkien’s Mordor. For someone who has been there, I think it’s an apt description. This summer, First Nations and Metis communities living at ground zero are inviting people to come together to join the fourth Healing Walk.
As the Summer Heat actions begin across the United States, “from where fossil fuels leave the ground, to the halls of power…” to challenge the fossil fuel industry and as activists prepare “…to stand up – peacefully but firmly — to the industry that is wrecking our future,” the Healing Walk invites us to, “come and see the impacts of the tar sands and be a part of the healing.”
I’m honored to be going. Sharing solidarity, ceremony and the Walk with communities on the frontlines of the tar sands is essential for me to re-commit to fight to stop the tar sands alongside those impacted by it. And also to recognize that those in power, often supported by immense corporate interests have failed to protect land, air, and water for future generations.
As the Healing Walk site says,
“No one feels this more then the people that have lived in the Athabasca River region for generations. They have watched their land get destroyed, they are forced to breathe dirty air, and in many communities they can no longer drink the water. The wildlife they have traditionally harvested are getting scarce, the fish they harvest have tumours, and the medicinal plants are disappearing along with the permanently changed landscape.”
When you join the Healing Walk, you will see the tar sands for yourself and have the opportunity to join others to heal the communities and land, and return home to take action with passion and determination. You will be amongst those directly affected by the tar sands who stand up everyday to speak on behalf of the land. You will march with Beaver Lake Cree Nation mother and tar sands fighter, Crystal Lameman, who was honored just last month at Global Exchange’s Human Rights Awards and inspired everyone in the audience with her telling words,
“When disaster strikes it is not going to know race, color or creed. I’m here to tell you, when that happens, the greed is going to see that it cannot eat money and you cannot drink oil. And that we all bleed the same color. …If the government and industry think that throwing money at us is going to make this better, I choose life and my children’s lives and I choose health over money.”
And with the news of the planet hitting 400 parts per million of CO2, a number way beyond the limit of what is needed to maintain a healthy planet, her words are even more prescient.
Details about the events and logistics for July 5th and & 6th are straightforward and lots of support is being provided for accommodations and transportation. Sign up now.