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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News from Groups Archives

Action Alerts

Resquest for letters of support: Proposed name restoration for the Wolastoq

Sunday, 30 April 2017
by Alma
 The Wolastoq Grand Council supports our YOUTH GROUPS on their proposal for changing the name of the Saint John River, back to it’s original and proper name; Wolastoq (the beautiful & bountiful river ). We see this as a good place to begin the process of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; which was strongly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

Proposed Name Restoration: 
  • The name Saint John River back to it’s original indigenous name -  Wolastoq
Purpose: 
  • Wolastoq; (the beautiful river) is the original Indigenous name of the River.
  • Wolastoq is the name sake for the real identity and unique nationality of our People; the Wolastoqiyik.  Respecting the rights of Wolastoqiyik.
  • Scientific studies have now confirmed, what our people have always known; “that water has memory”.    This river will remember its original name.   
  • This deed would begin a process for reconciliation with a show of goodwill on the part of the Government of New Brunswick, and would;
  • Create opportunities for discussions and engagement around indigenous issues.
  • Wolastoqiyik have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 

The Wolastoq Grand Council is requesting support letters from our Allies; as individuals, organizations, and/or Groups.  For more information, contact Alma Brooks, 506-478-1256, almabrooks.26@outlook.com

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

The Wolastoq Grand Council,
Grand Chief; Ron Tremblay
50 Maliseet Drive
Fredericton, NB, E3A 2V9


David Coon
Office of the Green Party Leader
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

Additional Information

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; has assured the Wolastoq Grand Council in writing that; - “Canada is committed to a renewed nation to nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”   Carolyn Bennett also stated that ; - “Achieving full reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is at the heart of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate, and that the government of “Canada will engage with Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, and Canadians on how to implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution”.

  1. Andrea Bear-Nicholas
As described in a 2011 article by Andrea Bear-Nicholas, Maliseet historian:  
  1. The first step in the dispossession for the indigenous peoples in the Maritimes began in earnest immediately after the British capture of the French fort at Louisbourg in 1758.   Where place names and names of First Nations in the entire region had been inscribed on earlier maps; both would soon be erased by colonial cartographers in a process described by J. B. Harley as cartographic colonialism.  The justifications for these erasures was found in the doctrine of discovery.   
  2. The second step in the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia began immediately after signing of the Treaty of 1760 by Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Leaders, and later the signing of the Mascarene Treaty.   Although there was no surrender of any lands in either of these Treaties; 1.5 million acres of Maliseet land which outlawed the surveying and expropriation of lands not yet ceded by the indigenous inhabitants or purchased by the Crown.    


  3. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:   Articles 1, 2, 6, & 13   support and provide a guide for the implementation leading to reconciliation.

As a distinct ‘people,’ we have a right to our accurate identity and nationality.
  • Indigenous Peoples have the right to the full enjoyment as a collective or as individuals of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international human rights law. 
  • Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity. 
  • Every indigenous individual has the right to their own nationality. 
  • Indigenous people have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons.  “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected”.

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,