by David Milne
On 25 May 2010, the Simcoe County Council
voted to ask the Ministry of the Environment of the Province of Ontario to
revoke the Certificate of Approval for Dump Site 41. The Ministry immediately
approved the request. The pure water of the Alliston Aquifer has been protected
indefinitely, at least in this location.
Common sense and environmental activism
have won a huge victory. This protest came out of a wonderful period of
cooperation and mutual trust among Indigenous people, local farmers, residents
of nearby towns and churches and activists from environmental and other NGOs,
including the Aboriginal Justice Team of Christian Peacemaker Teams.
Anishinaabe Kweag, five women from Beausoleil
First Nation, began the camp site that became the focal point of the protest
and led the blockade. Their spiritual vision of protecting the water
inspired all of us. Many other Indigenous people joined their efforts.
They have gone home to communities
threatened still by the legacy of residential schools —loss of language,
cultural values and parenting skills. They struggle with poverty and
health issues that greatly exceed that of non-indigenous settler
communities. Non-indigenous people
have gone home to business as usual, while courts and governments continue to
ignore Indigenous treaty rights and land claims.
The great prophet Micah posed the question “And what does the Lord require of you?”
His first response was “Act justly..” Will we carry forward the good will and
cooperation from our joint efforts to protect the water and demand justice for
the indigenous people of this land?