Alma Brooks – The Origin of the Saint John River

Transcription by André Faust

Alma Brooks:  Thank you.  One of, we have many connections to our land, one of the main connections to our land is the fact is that we have stories that connect us.  I like to share one of the creation stories.

Aglebe’m A greedy selfish creature kept back all the water in the world so that the rivers stop flowing and the lakes dried up and the people everywhere where dying from thirst.

As a last resort they sent a messenger to ask him to give the people water, but he refused, and he only gave the messenger the water that he washed himself.  But this was not enough to satisfy even the thirst of one.  Then the people began to complain some were saying I am as dry as a fish, I am as dry as a frog, I am as dry as a turtle, I am as dry as a beaver and so on.

 For they were on the verge of dying of thirst, and that, great man Eldoscot (not sure of pronunciation or spelling).  The good man is the bearer of great truths, he was sent to Aglebe’m to tell him to release the water to the people again Aglebe’m.  Again Aglebe’m refused saying that he needed himself to lie in.  Then eldoscot cut down the tree so that it fell on top of the monster and destroy him.  The body of the tree became the main river Wolastoq, and the branches of the trees became the tributaries while the leaves became the ponds and the headwaters and streams and the brooks and that the creation story from our people that goes back thousands and thousands of years in this land.


 

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Fredericton Mayor and City Council demonstrate lack of transparency on Energy East pipeline

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FREDERICTON – A citizens’ group in Fredericton is asking why Mayor Brad Woodside and City Council sent a Letter of Support for the proposed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline Project to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and kept it secret from the citizens of Fredericton.

 

Fredericton’s drinking water would be at risk from an Energy East pipeline spill as identified in the Drinking Water Report released on April 6th. A detailed analysis of the proposed Energy East pipeline route shows that across Canada the project could lead to the contamination of crucial sources of drinking water not identified in TransCanada’s application.

 

“Our City Councillors have a duty of care to ask about the risks and impacts of this export tar sands pipeline proposed to cross over or beside our rivers, bays, and drinking water supplies,” says Garry Guild, a member from the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.

 

“We are disappointed to learn that our City Council approved and sent this Letter of Support for this very controversial issue in the absence of an open and transparent debate during a regular Council meeting in which Frederictonians are allowed to attend,” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, a member of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians. “This is more than just about a pipeline.  It’s about public trust and the integrity of our elected officers. Decisions affecting the public being made secretly behind closed doors have no place in 2016.”

 

The decision also contradicts the position of the Wolastoq Grand Council which recently announced on February 8th their opposition to the Energy East pipeline.  The pipeline would traverse their unceded traditional homeland through the Saint John River watershed, including the headwaters of the Nashwaak River which is north of Fredericton.

 

To date, the following one-sentence statement is the only response that members of the local chapter have received from the City Clerk’s Office of the City of Fredericton:

 

“The City of Fredericton was approached by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a letter of support in relation to Trans Canada’s Energy East Project; and a letter was sent by Mayor Woodside, on behalf of City Council, to the Prime Minister of Canada confirming support.”  (City Clerk’s Office, e-mail received April 05, 2016)

 

“With impending municipal elections [Monday, May 9th), the citizens of Fredericton need to vote for a Mayor and Councillors who are both accountable and transparent.  This is how they gain our trust”, says Joan Green, a member of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.

 

The Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians has launched a ‘Publicly Take Back The Letter’ campaign asking Fredericton City Council to publicly withdraw the letter before or at their Monday, April 25th meeting @ 7:30pm, the final Regular Meeting of City Council prior to the May 9th municipal election.


 

Wolastoq Grand Council Addresses the Energy East Pipeline

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The Wolastoq Grand Council represents the non-ceded homeland of the Wolastoqewiyik who occupy the homeland and waterways as follows: North – Wolastoq River (aka St.John River which flows from Maine to the Bay of Fundy), South – Kenepek River (aka Kennebec), East – Supeq (aka Atlantic Ocean), and West – Wahsipekuk (aka St. Lawrence River).

As members of the Wolastoq Grand Council we unanimously oppose the Energy East Pipeline Project in order to protect our non-ceded homeland and waterways, our traditional and cultural connection to our lands, waterways, and air. The Wolastoq Grand Council has serious concerns for the safety and protection of the animals, fish, birds, insects, plants and tree life that sustains our Wolastoq Nation.

The Wolastoq Grand Council recognizes and values the statements made by the Federal Government on January 27, 2016 to consult with Indigenous Nations with respect to the project of our Ancestral Homeland. The Wolastoq Grand Council is willing to meet with the Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and other senior personnel in critical discussions that are consistent with our Peace and Friendship Treaties in a Nation-to-Nation relationship. There is a legal duty of the Crown to address and support our concerns due to the inadequacy of the National Energy Board process.

The Wolastoq Grand Council will expect from the appropriate Crown delegate and provincial representative, a written acceptance of our traditional philosophy, and our rejection of the Energy East tar sands pipeline as soon as possible.


 

22 groups call for TransCanada to stop planned borehole testing in the Bay of Fundy

(FREDERICTON) A coalition of 22 community and environmental groups have issued a joint letter which has been sent today by registered letter to TransCanada, the National Energy Board, and appropriate heads of government departments at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal level.

A 6-page work plan has come to their attention which shows TransCanada is days away from borehole testing off the shore of Red Head, New Brunswick in the Bay of Fundy. One of the large barges necessary for this work is already being put into position.

“TransCanada has not informed the residents at the end of the line in Red Head in Saint John,” says Lynaya Astephen, spokesperson for Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. “No testing of wells or foundations has been done. And this is prime time for migratory birds and the endangered right whale. There’s a lack of transparency with this company.”

“Notice of the imminent work was kept from our people,” confirms Ron Tremblay, spokesperson for the Wolastoq Grand Council. “As a member of the Wolastoq Grand Council and Wolastoq Nation, I stand firm on the protection of our lands, water and air. The area that the proposed testing will take place is our tradition land and shoreline where our people fished, gathered and flourished from the vast supply of food and medicine. Additional damage to the area will further destroy the traditional territory of the Wolastoq People. I strongly oppose any testing or industrial disaster in our homeland.”

“The regulatory and consultation process appears to be missing,” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, past Co-chair and member of the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. “If TransCanada has failed to follow due diligence with all necessary government agencies, this really is a wake-up call for how this entire Energy East project may proceed.”

In their joint statement, the 22 groups urge TransCanada and appropriate government agencies to act immediately, “Given the lack of consultation and long list of concerns we are requesting that all work on borehole testing be stopped until these concerns are addressed. Why would TransCanada conduct this work just as migratory birds and whales are coming into the Bay of Fundy in increasing numbers in August & September?”