Monday, August 18, 2008

Something fishy is going on...


These past few days I was in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta: the oldest settlement in the province, located north of the oil sands situated by the UNESCO-protected Wood Buffalo National Park. After many personal stories were shared of how the oil sands have impacted members of the small, remote community, Parks Canada dropped off this double-jawed goldeye fish by the conference centre. This is just one of the many deformities that have been reported. Will this even make front page news? Maybe in the local paper. Not national. Heaven forbid our federal government step in and say that something is wrong here, that something needs to be done. Heaven forbid our government actually protect ALL the people and not just the affluent majority. What's happening is not just deformed fish, it's a defunct way of government. The federal government HAS the ability to reign in what Alberta is getting away with here, but why haven't they stepped in? Because they think that a small community of over 2000 Aboriginal people is OK to sacrifice in the name of the Canadian GDP. They think that these people don't have a voice and can be silenced. Well I can guarantee you that this is just the beginning of what the world will hear from this community. It's only a matter of time before deformed fish populate our water ways and the Canadian fishing industry goes under, at which point the government will be flocking to the needs of the industry, not the needs of the nation of people who will be deprived of what was such a basic food source. When will government be accountable for their inaction, let alone be accountable for the things they've done wrong? One person CAN make a difference. We've been led to believe that it's not possible because industry and government don't want us to believe that we as individuals have power, but we do. We can vote and use the power that we do have.