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How low is the Alward Government prepared to stoop? 

 

Non-violent civil disobedience is no match for thumper trucks.  Twelve New Brunswick activists found this out the hard way, after being arrested Friday morning. This brings to 20 the number arrested in the past two weeks.

 

While partaking in a sunrise ceremony in a roadside field at the intersection of highways 116 and 126 in rural New Brunswick, many ran onto the road to prevent thumper trucks from passing by the area where a sacred fire had been burning since Wednesday.  

 

Thumper trucks are being used by SWN Resources Canada to detect the presence of shale gas deep beneath the Earth’s surface.  

 

According to scientific evidence, shale gas extraction leads to degradation of land, water, and air.

 

Among those arrested was pipe-carrying St. Mary’s Maliseet Ron Tremblay, a respected elder and spiritual leader in his community. The pipe carries the same meaning as the rosary in the Catholic faith. 

 

Although disappointing, these new arrests should come as no surprise to any who have been following the Alward government’s handling of this file.  With not a single word mentioned about shale gas in the Progressive Conservative’s 2010 party platform, the Alward government has no clear mandate to pursue shale gas exploration and mining.  

 

Yet, this government has refused (with the exception of one riding) to consult with Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals on this issue. 

 

It has ignored petitions sent to its members in the Legislative Assembly asking for it to cease and desist. 

 

It even tried to suppress a report produced on the health effects of this industry by its own public health officer.  

 

And now, it is being complicit in the arrest of an Aboriginal spiritual leader whose only crime was having to resort to non-violent civil disobedience in order to protect what is sacred for all of us—our land, water, and air. 

 

New Brunswickers deserve far better than this.  An information session on shale gas mining is being organized Wednesday, June 19th at the Club 50 Plus, Route 535 in Cocagne starting at 7:00 pm.  The public is invited to attend. 

Action Alerts

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.

Resquest for letters of support: Proposed name restoration for the Wolastoq

Sunday, 30 April 2017
by Alma
 The Wolastoq Grand Council supports our YOUTH GROUPS on their proposal for changing the name of the Saint John River, back to it’s original and proper name; Wolastoq (the beautiful & bountiful river ). We see this as a good place to begin the process of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; which was strongly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

Proposed Name Restoration: 
  • The name Saint John River back to it’s original indigenous name -  Wolastoq
Purpose: 
  • Wolastoq; (the beautiful river) is the original Indigenous name of the River.
  • Wolastoq is the name sake for the real identity and unique nationality of our People; the Wolastoqiyik.  Respecting the rights of Wolastoqiyik.
  • Scientific studies have now confirmed, what our people have always known; “that water has memory”.    This river will remember its original name.   
  • This deed would begin a process for reconciliation with a show of goodwill on the part of the Government of New Brunswick, and would;
  • Create opportunities for discussions and engagement around indigenous issues.
  • Wolastoqiyik have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 

The Wolastoq Grand Council is requesting support letters from our Allies; as individuals, organizations, and/or Groups.  For more information, contact Alma Brooks, 506-478-1256, almabrooks.26@outlook.com

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

The Wolastoq Grand Council,
Grand Chief; Ron Tremblay
50 Maliseet Drive
Fredericton, NB, E3A 2V9


David Coon
Office of the Green Party Leader
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

Additional Information

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; has assured the Wolastoq Grand Council in writing that; - “Canada is committed to a renewed nation to nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”   Carolyn Bennett also stated that ; - “Achieving full reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is at the heart of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate, and that the government of “Canada will engage with Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, and Canadians on how to implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution”.

  1. Andrea Bear-Nicholas
As described in a 2011 article by Andrea Bear-Nicholas, Maliseet historian:  
  1. The first step in the dispossession for the indigenous peoples in the Maritimes began in earnest immediately after the British capture of the French fort at Louisbourg in 1758.   Where place names and names of First Nations in the entire region had been inscribed on earlier maps; both would soon be erased by colonial cartographers in a process described by J. B. Harley as cartographic colonialism.  The justifications for these erasures was found in the doctrine of discovery.   
  2. The second step in the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia began immediately after signing of the Treaty of 1760 by Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Leaders, and later the signing of the Mascarene Treaty.   Although there was no surrender of any lands in either of these Treaties; 1.5 million acres of Maliseet land which outlawed the surveying and expropriation of lands not yet ceded by the indigenous inhabitants or purchased by the Crown.    


  3. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:   Articles 1, 2, 6, & 13   support and provide a guide for the implementation leading to reconciliation.

As a distinct ‘people,’ we have a right to our accurate identity and nationality.
  • Indigenous Peoples have the right to the full enjoyment as a collective or as individuals of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international human rights law. 
  • Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity. 
  • Every indigenous individual has the right to their own nationality. 
  • Indigenous people have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons.  “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected”.

Shale Gas Caucus Steering Committee

  • Concerned Citizens of Saint John
  • Conservation Council of NB
  • Corn Hill and Area Residents Association
  • Council of Canadians Atlantic
  • Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter
  • Council of Canadians - Kent County
  • Council of Canadians - Saint John Chapter
  • Darlings Island Nauwigewauk Fracking Intervention
  • Friends of Mount Carleton
  • Kopit Lodge
  • Memramcook Action
  • NB Anti-Shale Gas Alliance
  • New Brunswickers Against Fracking
  • Our Environment, Our Choice
  • Sierra Club Atlantic
  • Sustainable Energy Group
  • Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking
  • Taymouth Environment Action
  • Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County