From July 14-17th, hundreds of people are expected to gather on the shores of Lake Huron at Ojibway Park in Garden River First Nation for the Great Lakes Gathering. A callout has been issued to Anishinaabek, Métis, and anyone else who has a concern or stake in the health of the Great Lakes.
Many issues will be discussed at the gathering, including the nuclear waste burial at the Kincardine site, the aging Enbridge Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s proposed sites for a deep geological depository site along the north shore of Lake Huron.
The health and well being of the Great Lakes will be discussed, as well as their value and importance for Indigenous nations in the Great Lakes region. There are three teams of canoes now travelling great distances that are scheduled to arrive at Ojibway Park on July 14th and 15th.
“This 4 day ceremonial gathering is a direct action for our sacred waters. We must continue to gather, pray and walk for the water until we know water will be cared for and protected. ” Josephine Mandamin (Anishinaabe)
“The spiritual fabric of Indigenous peoples has always been strongly connected to the water and many see the importance of ensuring that clean water is passed down for future generations. Indigenous peoples see a water crisis has already begun, as many animals do not have water to drink and we do not want to see water issues worsen. We want to improve water quality for plants, animals and humans.” said Isaac Murdoch (Anishinaabe)
“The reason why we’ve received such an overwhelming response for this gathering is because everyone who lives around the Great Lakes understands that industry is being given too much power and the risks are too high. It seems like the people are always put second behind the interests of industry.” said Christi Belcourt (Métis)