Elnu Tribe of Abenaki has confirmed its support for the Mi’maki community at Sipekne’katik on the Shubenacadie River in Nova Scotia, as they stand in solidarity against the Alton Gas salt cavern storage project. A letter has been sent to the Grandmothers expressing unity and understanding, and upholding the shared responsibilities of the Wabanakiak in their homelands, N’dakinna.
See this post for more background.
Alton Natural Gas Storage Limited is developing a huge storage site for hydrocarbons (natural gas and others) in Brentwood, Colchester County, Nova Scotia. They will use water from the Shubenacadie River to flush out underground salt deposits. “During construction of the caverns, brine will be released into a constructed channel connected to the Shubenacadie River where it will mix with the tidal (brackish) river water to maximize dilution.”¹ It will be directly discharged into the Shubenacadie River through the channel. The amount of salt from these caverns amounts to over 8 million cubic yards – 500,000 dump truck loads, depending upon how many caverns are created.
This is of great concern to Mi’kmaq citizens, fishers, local landowners, environmental organizations and allies since this unique river ecosystem is home to several endangered and at risk species. The discharge site is near the mouth of the Stewiacke River, one of the last breeding grounds for striped Bass and also habitat for endangered Atlantic Salmon. Despite continued outcry and court challenges from First Nations, local landowners and fishers regarding the lack of consultation and meaningful environmental assessments, the company has received all necessary approval. An overruling by the Minister of Environment, Premier or Federal Critical Habitat designation could still stop the project before the brine dumping takes place.
Learn more about this immediate significant threat to indigenous rights in Mi’kmaki, on the north central Acadian peninsula.
U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the Wabanaki Women’s Coalition received a total of $336,976 from the Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
Read the full announcement.
‘Reconnection to our culture again is part and parcel of healing,’ says counsellor Robyn Hazard. [Full story at cbc.ca]
Two Mi’kmaw sisters are launching a crisis counselling service for people living on reserves in mainland Nova Scotia. Alsusuti Aboriginal Crisis Counselling Services will combine mental health support with traditional spiritual practices. “Our goal is to try to make sure that we are incorporating our culture at all times,” said Robyn Hazard, who lives in Lunenburg.
The St. John’s Telegram notes a Native alliance formed to oppose exploration and drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with Quebec’s recent lifting of its moratorium. Chiefs from the Innu, Maliseet and Mi’gmaq Nations are demanding that federal party leaders tell voters whether they will protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s unique and vital ecosystem..
An article in the Bangor Daily News sums up the final report of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission. The five-member panel “gathered more than 160 statements from 13 focus groups in Maine” in their two years of work. Their final report, presented June 14, 2015, outlined 16 points of concern in summary of their disquieting findings.