6290 reads  
No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. --Emma Goldman

Ta'Kaiya Blaney: What a 10-Year-Old Did for the Tar Sands

--by Angela Sterritt, syndicated from Yes Magazine, Dec 10, 2011

Why a First Nations student from British Columbia is taking on a controversial trans-Canadian pipeline project—through song.

Ta'Kaiya photo by Carol Carson

Ten-year-old Ta’Kaiya Blaney stood outside Enbridge Northern Gateway’s office on July 6, waiting for officials to grant her access to the building. She thought she could hand deliver an envelope containing an important message about the company’s pipeline construction. But the doors remained locked.

“I don’t know what they find so scary about me,” she said, as she was ushered off the property by security guards. “I just want them to hear what I have to say.”

The Sliammon First Nation youth put in a great effort learning about environmental issues and the pipeline in particular, and hoped to share her knowledge and carefully crafted words. Enbridge officials said they were unable to provide Ta’Kaiya space or time and failed to comment because the Vancouver office is staffed by a limited number of technical personnel. Their headquarters are located in Calgary.

So Ta’Kaiya stood outside, accompanied by three members of Greenpeace, her mother, and a number of reporters and sang her song “Shallow Waters.” The song’s video has hit YouTube and been viewed more than 53,000 times.

 

She co-wrote her song after learning of Enbridge’s bid to build twin 1,170 km pipelines to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands to British Columbia’s north coast. Like the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that would connect the Canadian tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Enbridge’s Alberta-B.C. pipeline is widely opposed, largely because it would bring hundreds of oil supertankers a year to the Great Bear Rainforest—an ecologically significant region along a particularly dangerous route for tankers.

“Oil pipelines and tankers will give people jobs, but if there is an oil spill like the [BP spill] in the Gulf of Mexico, that will take other people’s jobs and the wildlife will die,” said Ta’Kaiya.

According to a Greenpeace website, “Twenty-two years after the Exxon Valdez tragedy, crude still coats Alaska’s shores. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council estimates that 21,000 gallons of the 11 million gallons of crude oil that bled from the stranded tanker Exxon Valdez on the night of March 23, 1989 remain in the subsurface.”

Read Between the Pipelines
The People v. the Pipeline

How you can get involved in the one of the most important climate struggles happening in North America.

 

 

And Dustin Johnson, a Tsimshian youth who works at the Sierra Club in Edmonton, says that the tankers that are proposed to transport tar sands crude from northern Alberta to the B.C. north coast are much larger than the Exxon Valdez. "If the tar sands pipelines are successfully built on the coast," he said, "this would lead to at least 250 tankers per year navigating the intricate B.C. coastline—a risk the salmon- and ocean-dependent Northwest coast communities and economies cannot afford to make."

Greenpeace reports that 80 percent of British Columbians support an oil tanker ban in B.C.’s coastal waters. More than 70 First Nations in British Columbia have banned the transport of tar sands oil through their territories, including along the proposed oil tanker routes.

While Ta’Kaiya was waiting outside for Enbridge officials, B.C. Premier Christy Clark sent the girl an email, saying she had “watched your YouTube video and commend you for your talent. Your message is very clear—we must be concerned about the environment.”

Clark said the B.C. government supports the ongoing environmental review, a process that has met much criticism from First Nations communities, environmental groups, and political leaders.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., opponents of a different project—the Keystone XL Pipeline —are preparing for two weeks of mass civil disobedience at the White House with the hopes of convincing President Obama to stop it in its tracks.

More information at www.tarsandsaction.org




Angela Sterritt wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Angela Sterritt is a freelance journalist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She blogs at angelasterritt.wordpress.com. This article is shared here with permission


Print

Read More


Quote Bulletin


Enjoy the journey, enjoy ever moment, and quit worrying about winning and losing.
Matt Biondi

Search by keyword: Happiness, Wisdom, Work, Science, Technology, Meditation, Joy, Love, Success, Education, Relationships, Life
Contribute To      
Upcoming Stories      

Subscribe to DailyGood

We've sent daily emails for over 16 years, without any ads. Join a community of 243,855 by entering your email below.

  • Email:
Subscribe Unsubscribe?


Trending DailyGoods Aug 6: Dying to Be Me (6,688 reads) Jul 29: The Boy & Dog Who Changed Each Other's Lives Forever (4,424 reads) Jul 16: The Sacred Art of Pausing (11,404 reads) Aug 2: 5 Invitations: What Death Can Teach About Living (11,791 reads) Jul 3: Are You Okay?: The Power of a Caring Question (5,999 reads)

More ...