'Our waters are sick': First Nations youth raise money for 'peaceful' protests against pipelines
'It's not a matter of whether Standing Rock will happen in Canada, it's a question of when'
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to green-light Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline has prompted First Nations youth to launch a “water protector fund” to raise money for cross-country protests to stop pipeline construction.
The Assembly of First Nations’ Youth Council said Thursday the money will be used to help supply camps they expect to build along the pipeline’s route, similar to what was organized in Standing Rock, North Dakota, where thousands of protesters and members of various Native American tribes assembled on the Sioux reservation near the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their protest was successful: the U.S. government halted construction on Sunday.
“It’s not a matter of whether Standing Rock will happen in Canada, it’s a question of when,” Will Landon, the co-chair of the youth council, said in an interview with CBC News. “We’re trying to make sure we have pre-emptive measures in place to get resources for when those camps do occur,” he said.
Landon said that the fund, which will be called Nibi-ogichidaakwe, Ojibwe for “water protector,” would only provide money for peaceful protests, water walks and public information sessions.
“There are some people out there that feel so oppressed and hurt and the only way they can express themselves is by lashing out … but we want to [stop construction] through peaceful prayer. [Violence] is not a big concern. We want to make sure that we’re maintaining that peaceful message.”