Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I am Idle NO More

I am part of the Idle No More movement since I attended a teach-in on December 2, 2012 in a small reservation in Canada called Louis Bull hosted by Tanya Kappo.  Also the place we were all encouraged to use the twitter hashtag "#idlenomore" & use social media to create awareness and empower the people to act in peace & solidarity.  Ever since that day, I have met the most amazing people and witness greatness in humanity.  Also, after that teach-in, I offered my time to this cause in various ways but my first act of Idle No More was I donated my time to purchase the domains & websites and created the website, with the administrative assistance of one of the four founding woman of the Idle No More, Jessica Gordon. Ever since & (same website) went online December 4, 2012 we have had 460, 974 visitors and average of over 11.5 visitors per second. Here is a bit of my story as a Idle No More advocate, I am a elementary teacher at Frog Lake First Nations and all the reservations I mention in my story are within 150 - 300 KM north-east of Edmonton, AB. Edmonton is within Treaty #6 Territory and a territory that is 100% impacted by environmental attacks. I will do my best to explain myself clearly.

Here is a brief story:

BILL C-45 Effects (only a few of many):


As a former Traditional Use contractor within the Treaty # 6 Territory under the former Tribal Chiefs Peacekeeping Conversation Commission, we understood that many First Nations Reserves and Metis Settlements are within the two largest Oil Sands Pools in Alberta (in Canada) & part of Saskatchewan (Fort MacMurray & Cold Lake Oil Sands). We also knew that many oil companies wanted direct access to all but due to First Nations Treaties etc..they were having a hard time accessing because the Treaty reservations required them to consult & this was a HUGE INCONVENIENCE for them, they totally hated the idea, I know because I have sat with the Alberta Province who, at the time, were & still are the go between for Oil Industry. With the passing of Bill C-45, they can now go in and take what ever they want "for the benefit of all Canadians". This is only one of many scary results of this bill.


Also, over 2.5 Million lakes & water ways were protected, now only 84 lakes are, this means, oil companies can now take all the water they want without consultation and protection. I ask you which 84 lakes are protected???? Are they lakes in front of the shareholders mansions?????

I live in Kehewin Cree Nation and the Kehewin Lake is one of the largest water basins in the region and also in the middle of the largest Cold Lake Oil Sands. Ever since Anadarko (US Company) did seismic testing on top of Moose Mountain, it disturbed the underground fresh water supply and the community of Kehewin has been under Boil Water Advisory since 2005. In addition, this lake is the only water supply for the whole community. Many people have been sick & my family have been dealing with skin rashes etc.. ever since.

Then, there are the cases of cancer, which are higher near oil & gas exploration. I for one have a lot of family who have passed away & my mother is currently living with two types of cancer. I really don’t know anyone who has not been impacted by this epidemic.

Furthermore, oil companies need 2.5 barrels of water to get 1 barrel of oil out of the ground, this means that the total amount of fresh water is in direct competition with all Canadians as we need the fresh water to LIVE...who do you think should live?????

Also, 70% of all wetlands in Canada have also been destroyed due to so called "progression" & oil exploration... these wetlands are detrimental to the world as are the Rain Forests. Canada's wetlands & Boreal forest filter water, help prevent droughts, their vegetation help clean our air & produce oxygen, supply many of the medicinal plants, & more etc.. see ducks unlimited for more information or visit a website I created with my former grade 5 children on the effects of Wetlands on the World ( or

PS: there is only 3% of fresh water in the world & we are competing with Industry for our water supply

We all have our own stories & experiences but one thing I know for sure, we are ALL affected...after all we ALL need WATER, AIR (OXYGEN), & LAND (plants, food etc.) to SURVIVE...& this BILL C-45 puts our LIVES IN DANGER...

Now I ask you to look or hold your child(ren), grand(ren), & all loved ones and ask yourself, when I am gone from this earth, what will I leave behind....

WE ARE #IDLENOMORE ...TELL YOUR STORY...never stop until this BILL & its' counterparts (seven more bills) are ERADICATED & all that Idle No More stands for are achieved & realized...NOW TAKE A DEEP BREATH...feel that air, are you willing to give it up?

Canadian Treaties are ONE STRONG TOOL TO PROTECT THESE LANDS & WATERS FOR ALL CANADIANS. As a treaty person, I have a right to hunt, gather, forage, and conduct my cultural ways; however, I need an environment to do so. Once the environment is damaged, my treaty right has been infringed (to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress) on. This infringement also affects all Canadians on the other side of the treaty agreement because they too need the water, land etc. to LIVE)...Treaties protect all people & the world because the effects of Canada affect all world Water, Air, Land etc...we are all CONNECTED! 

Twitter: #idlenomore

I am Shannon M Houle, a proud & strong Cree & Dene woman, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, & spouse of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation #125 & Whitefish First Nation #128 & connected to my mother's tribe of Cold Lake First Nations. I am "Idle NO More"!

Shannon M Houle
@smhoule twitter

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