Water Declaration

Peace and Friendship Alliance, Red Head 2015

 

We, the members of the Alliance, recognize the Nation-to-Nation Peace and Friendship Treaties as the basis of our common ground, defining our responsibilities to the water and to each other, down through the generations.

 

We affirm that Water is the dynamic and creative element that sustains all life. Water moves and flows through deep aquifers, springs, bogs, brooks, marshes, lakes, rivers and into the ocean tides throughout Wabanaki territory, to be drawn up into the clouds and fall as rain, returning to the land.

 

In this constant ebb & flow, Water nourishes & cleanses the entire world. It makes up who we are, as well as the other living beings. We live, grow, play, work, wash, cook, drink, rest, pray and celebrate with the waters. What we do to the Water, we do to ourselves.

 

Water is limited, and it is vulnerable. It needs to be protected, and shared freely and fairly. Water is not a commodity or merely a resource. It is a unique condition, a life giver, a right, and water is a dynamic being with a creative power of its own unlike any other in the natural world, and the human family.

 

We see the destruction of the environment as the destruction of ourselves. We see that any assault on the good and well-being of our relations in the natural world, upon our lands and our waters as an act of aggression against us.

 

Today, we recognize and resist the extensive abuses to Water that resource industries and governments are unleashing, directly assaulting Water.

 

These threats include:

fracking tar sands pipelines mining industrial wastewater dumping privatizing water services clear cut & spraying in the forest industrial farming river dams coastal inundation and flash flooding from severe storms and climate change nuclear power generation salmon farm mismanagement government inaction

 

These abuses render water toxic, diverted, substandard, unreliable and unavailable. All of these assaults on Water are abusive to the web of life which our societies are embedded in and depend upon to survive and thrive for the next seven generations. Our children and grandchildren deserve better and need to be protected from harm.

 

The Peace and Friendship Alliance opposes these abuses. We are committed to restoring balance to our relationship with the water, thereby renewing our treaty responsibilities to each other as distinct Nations. When we care for the water, we care for each other.

 

We will care for the water by building a sustainable economy that rapidly transitions away from fossil-fuels to renewables, restores our forests, reduces the carbon footprint, decentralizes energy supply, and builds food security through a regional biodiverse farming sector.

 

We call on governments to amend our laws and regulations to accommodate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. lThese laws and regulations must take into account sovereign aboriginal title of Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq, involving their inherent and inalienable rights, including among others their right to exercise free, prior, and informed consent and their right to participate in economic development that affects the waters in their lands. These laws and regulations must also take into account the balance of interests involving the farming sector, forestry sector, renewable energy sector, manufacturing sector, as well as health services and tourism industries among others.

 

We the Alliance invite you to join in our movement – our shared consciousness - to reconnect in a sacred manner to the natural world. Our Nations will stand shoulder-to- shoulder to protect the water and secure a future for our children and our grandchildren.

 

This Water Declaration is declared in Peace and Friendship, on the 30th of May, 2015, at the mouth of the Wolastoq (Saint John River) and the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

 

The Peace and Friendship Alliance

woliwon - wela’lin - thank you - merci

 

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