By Emilie Corbiere
TORONTO—On Saturday November 5, I had the privilege of joining more than three-thousand people at Queens Park in Toronto for what is being called the fastest growing movement in history. The reservation known as Standing Rock in North Dakota has been under severe threat from the military, private security firms, and the government, all for trying to protect the water.
As First Nations people here in Canada, we know all too well about trying to protect our lands and resources from greedy corporations and or governments. Even the mainstream media will not report on our struggles unless someone gets hurt or killed; think back to Oka or Ipperwash.
The people in Standing Rock are calling themselves protectors not protesters, these people are not even armed with weapons but many have already been arrested a few times and labeled as terrorists. Their support system is growing though by the thousands every week, new people flow into the camps everyday, cities around the world are showing their support with their own peaceful protests and marches, even celebrities are jumping on board.
”Water is life” is quickly becoming the chant worldwide because without water, there is no life on this planet. This is a sad time for their community where greed from the oil industry is trying to bully their way onto sacred lands. But as Indigenous people in North America, we have grown stronger and we’re teaching our children that this is not okay.
The march ended at Nathan Phillips Square with the biggest round dance that I’ve ever seen. My feet were pretty sore when I got home, but I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again and again. My prayers are going up and my semma is being laid down for the people of Standing Rock. Stay strong my brothers and sisters, chi miigwech for all that you are doing to save the water.