Water Is Life, Right?

Many don’t realize it, because in our humble Canadian way we don’t really promote it, but we have our own “Standing Rock” activists equivalent and our own #NODAPL right here in Alberta.

The group is call the “Keepers Of The Athabasca” and their mission, to quote, is

“To unite the peoples of the Athabasca River and Lake Watershed to secure and protect water and watershed lands for ecological, social, cultural and community health and well being”

This watershed is directly impacted by the Alberta oilsands projects, and it is showing the effects of cumulative pollution.  My own husband and his ancestors once made their living by trapping and commercial fishing Lake Athabasca in northern Alberta, and have seen first hand the changes since first the Bennett Dam and then the oil sands production have wreaked upon their traditional way of life.  Here is an except from my husbands book “Outrunning The Wind” in which he talks about his life as a young Metis boy living on the trapline:

“It is unfortunate that today the Athabasca Delta has been destroyed by the effects of the Bennett Dam in British Columbia, and also, to some degree from industrial pollution from southern oil sands operators.  Trappers who years ago drank the waters from the Athabasca river and lake now must buy bottled water distilled in France.  As they say “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink”.  How true this saying is for the trappers and residents of the Athabasca Delta.”

This is my brother-in-law, Ray Ladouceur speaking with the Edmonton Journal regarding how this has impacted the area downstream from the Alberta oilsands:

My newest jewelry collection “Water is Life” will be available April 1st, 2017 featuring pieces that fit every budget from simple wooden pieces to Malachite, pearls and diamonds, with turtles being the focal of each piece.

10% of all sales from this collection will be donated to the Keepers of the Athabasca to help support the important work they do and bring attention to what is happening in our own backyard!

You can find out more about the Keepers Of The Athabasca and their sister groups by visiting their website here:  Keepers Of The Athabasca

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How I Became A Socialist, Hippie Tree Hugger

Firstly,  let me just preface this by explaining –  I AM CANADIANEH 😊

To me, this is a heritage to not only be proud of,  but to be cherished and nurtured.  In a world of sabre rattling southern neighbors,  we are recognized as the world’s largest and friendliest peace keeping force.  Although, this is not to take anything away from our respected “Vandoos” https://canadaalive.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/the-van-doos/ or “the Princess Pats” http://www.cbc.ca/edmonton/interactive/princess-pats/ as our troops were known during “The Great War” with their get-er-done attitude and indomitable fighting spirit.

It’s just that,  as Canadians we would rather everyone just got along and settled our disagreements over a cold beer and maybe a killer curling game. We’re not afraid to take it outside if we have to, but we would much prefer to come to an amicable solution through thoughtful discussion and persuasive argument. Just chalk it up to our fur trading ancestors who knew you could catch more flies with honey.  Besides,  it just wasn’t good business to kill off your suppliers or customers – our First Nations people.

Plus, in a land where almost everything,  including the weather, could kill you,  it was a smart move to learn the survival methods of the people who had been living, and thriving,  here for thousands of years. So, instead of embarking on a campaign to eradicate the “filthy vermin” as General Custer and his ilk did,  we set out to learn how to best use the medicinal plants and to sustainably harvest and use the vast resources of animal, mineral and vegetable of the “Great White North”

We are envied around the globe for our beautiful lakes, rivers and mountains – pristine and untouched for the most part.  Sure, we have our corporate polluters like every other country, but we consciously work hard towards finding better and more environmentally friendly ways of harvesting our natural resources and doing our best to make them sustainable for our children and grandchildren.  Camping is a sacred right of passage if you are a Canadian, and we teach our children at a young age not to litter. You will find very little garbage in our streets or parks – we just automatically carry it with us until we can dispose of it in garbage cans instead of throwing it at our feet.  Our CO2 emissions are some of the lowest in the world.  For those who think our oil sands projects are “dirty”, they need to check their own back door before pointing fingers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

Our Women’s rights movement here in Alberta, my home province, was far ahead of our neighbors . Women received the right to vote on April 19, 1916 while our American sisters had to wait another 4 long years to be granted the same rights (August 18, 1920)

We had universal health care as early as 1950 here in Alberta because we believed that good health care is a right for everyone, not a privilege for only the wealthy.

A woman’s right to Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1969, but only 12 abortions per every 1000 women are carried out, while in the USA, which was granted the right 4 years later in 1973, the rates are nearly double at 20 per 1000 women.  We do not abuse the right or use it as a birth control method.  Life is sacred, but we recognize that a woman has the right to decide for herself if she wants to become a mother or not.

We have a Prime Minister who is not afraid to march in PRIDE Parades and a female Premier of Alberta who will take on “the big boys” of industry without flinching, any day of the week!

So yes, I think we all need to be our brothers keepers as we were taught in Sunday school, to be good stewards over His creation and to

respect the beliefs and teachings of each other.  And if that makes me a “commie, socialist tree hugger”, then I proudly accept the title.

1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: