SWN forced to pay damages and leave New Brunswick Mi'gmag historic directive
Media Release: SWN Forced to Pay Damages & Leave New Brunswick, NB Mi'gmag Issue Historic Directive to Fracking Co.
For immediate release
September 6, 2013
Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick
SWN Forced to Pay Damages and Leave NewBrunswick
New Brunswick Mi'gmag Issue HistoricDirective to Fracking CompanyItalic text
The Original People of the Wabanaki-Mi'gmag District of Signigtog have, for the first time in known history, used their collective authority to stop shale gas activity in New Brunswick. Based in Elsipogtog, together with allies from Acadian, Anglophone and First Peoples' communities, the Signigtog Grand Council and Collective Community of Concerned Members of Signigtog have issued a directive to shale gas developer Southwestern Energy (SWN) to stop all shale gas activities, leave the territory, and compensate the people for harm caused by their operations.
Kenneth Francis of Signigtog said,“Creator made us caretakers of Mother Earth. Our goal as the Collective Community of Concerned Members of Signigtog is to protect Mother Earth because we're killing her. She's already endured too much. We will lose our clean water if we sit back and allow what the shale gas companies are planning on doing in Signigtog. What they are planning is unacceptable. We do not accept the unacceptable.”
Members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams have been providing support and accompaniment to Kent County opponents of shale gas development since June of this year. Their organization's web site reports that “The issuing of this Directive is an unprecedented and crucially important event in the history of the Mi’gmag People. Christian Peacemaker Teams is honored to be present as the Original Peoples of the Wabanaki-Mi’gmag District of Signigtog undertakes this historic initiative and to support their sovereignty over the Wabanaki-Mi’gmag District of Signigtog”
The Concerned Members of Signigtog is a collective community of members supported by the Mi'gmag Grand Council who are dedicated to protecting Mother Earth and working to re-assert their sovereignty over their traditional territories. Signigtog-Mi'gmag Grand Council Keptin Noel Joe Augustine speaks with pride about being a member, “It only takes a handful of people to save the lands and waters. Through our prayers and ceremonies we have made a very good spiritual beginning. The sacred fire is now lit in the hearts of many people who are helping us to do what is right and protect the water.”
Warrior Chief John Levi wants everyone to know that not only is more encouragement, support,participation and help welcome, but that the work itself is enjoyable and rewarding. “We are strong and happy people. Our allies are with us all the way and we get stronger, even with all the difficult experiences we've been through. We've been arrested, lied to and there have been many attempts to silence us and get us to stop what we're doing. But we know we're doing the right thing and we're going to continue as long as there is a threat to our way of life.”
[Directive available here -http://www.cpt.org/files/Copy of SWN Directive_0.pdf]