Yesterday was an international day of support and action for Standing Rock in their fight against the North Dakota Access Pipeline. Peaceful protests were held throughout North America and in Wawa last night.
Last night at sunset, a ceremony was organized by Christina Bekintis and Allison Pilon on the shores of Wawa Lake. After smudging, everyone was welcomed and Allison spoke about the struggles that the Standing Rock Nation is experiencing as they try to stop the progress of the Dakota Access pipeline. This 1,770 kilometre, $3.7-billion (U.S.) pipeline would carry oil from just north of the Standing Rock Sioux’s land in North Dakota to Illinois, join an existing pipeline and route crude directly to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The project is led by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners through its Dakota Access subsidiary.
Although this planned pipeline not on tribal land, the Standing Rock Sioux say it runs through a sacred burial ground. The larger concern is though, that if there was ever a leak, it would pollute nearby rivers and poison their water source.
The Gogama train derailment of March 7th, 2015, saw 39 cars carrying Petroleum Crude Oil (UN 1267). The derailment was a mere three kilometres from the town of Gogama. Some of the cars landed in the Makami River which flows into the Minisinakwa Lake (Gogama) and then to Mattagami Lake (Mattagami First Nation).
CN has conducted an extensive cleanup, however residents are not content. A year and half after the derailment, in response to the complaints from residents, more booms have been set out at the bridge, and more testing is being conducted. There is a public meeting tonight in Gogama to address the residents concerns.
After the introduction, Christina offered tobacco to all. Songs were sung and prayers said. The evening was over about 8 p.m.