Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
Women Saying No to Uranium Mining
by Rachael Proud & Rose DeShaw
The Three Sisters Committee (AHS^NAHTE:KU:TAH NUTEHLE) are joined today by Rachael Meelak-Proud and Rose DeShaw as they speak out against uranium mining and for the protection of our environment.|
As Uranium Mining poses a real threat to our ground water The Three Sisters will open this presentation with “The Water Song”.
As we listen to this song and hear an explanation it will become clear to all that it is our responsibility as women to protect water and speak out for all generations.
Below we have copied the speeches you will hear from Rachael and Rose who will add their voice to The Sister’s Song.
Thank you…It is an honour to be here and speak on behalf of, I hope, young people everywhere. My name is Rachael Melnik-Proud, and I am a grade 11 student at KCVI.
As young people our world is becoming a whole lot more complicated and the responsibilities and challenges we will have to face in our future scare me.
Our world is FULL of young people. Almost two billion of us are under the age of 18..We all want nice clothes, cars, computers, televisions, I-pods, and all those other THINGS we think we need in order to make us happy.
The problem is the HUGE amount of energy this requires …not to mention the 5 planet earths it takes to sustain our north American lifestyles.
The even bigger problem …is we only have one planet earth, and the one we have cannot sustain us.
This worries me…and I think all of us young people should be clearly made aware of our situation, and should be speaking out about our environmental crisis.
It is an honour too, to be here standing up for the Ardoch Algonquin Community, and its leader Bob Lovelace and I am proud to share this time with these elders. In speaking for the earth, they are fighting not only for me, but for all children.
It seems to me that we are doing to our earth, what we have historically done to our first native people.
To satisfy our needs…we carry on exploiting our environment, in the same manner, we selfishly and unfairly abused the culture and land of our natives everywhere.
As young people faced with an uncertain future, we have much to learn from these people. We must come to understand, like they do, our connection to the earth, and respect that all our cultures, come from the land, water and air we share in common.
This uranium citizen’s inquiry is about people speaking truth to power.
Power then, should be speaking truth to the people.
Like Al Gore did, when I was only one years old
he warned us…
“Whether we realize it or not, we are now engaged in an epic battle to right the balance of our earth, and the tide of this battle will turn only when the majority of people in the world become sufficiently aroused by a shared sense of urgent danger to join an all-out effort. It is time to come to terms with exactly how this can be accomplished.”
One of the great joys of being my age
is stepping up to tradition
with all the wisdom that many years
of experience gives to you.
A belief in the divine grandmother,
the mothers of time, the Disir,
is ancient and runs through all societies.
And in every instance,
the grandmother is linked to the earth.
The Celts had Kali the crone who had the power
to grow mountain ranges. The Malay had the
Kari under the earth who would cause floods
if not listened to.
Clan mothers who guide all decisions.
My father and my grandfather
were prospectors in the north.
They had a mine called, ‘The Yankee Girl.’
Their whole goal was to get rich.
But my grandmother spent her time
in the Native community,
trying to repair the damage their mining created.
She took many pictures of the Inuit
who lived near the mine and those who worked in it.
At her age, at my age, you begin to see patterns.
All the things you have seen and learned come together,
all the fights,( and we know there are many fights today,
have been and always will be).
Which fights are ours?
When you see good men and women,
stepping up to say no, to protect the land,
willing to be jailed rather than give in,
that’s a pretty good sign that
this is where you should be,
for the children. our grandchildren.
There is a great joy
in speaking out your truth at a time
such as this.