Sad about Muskrat Falls

The Labradorian - - EDITORIAL -

Since they started Muskrat Falls, I’m very sad. I cry. My heart breaks many times. I go on the Churchill Road some­times and I can’t be­lieve what I saw at Gull Is­land. I was go­ing to look for berries but you can’t go through there any­more; there’s lots of ma­chines there, lots of bull­doz­ers. I was so sad. I thought ‘ look what hap­pened. They have just started; what’s it go­ing to be like in a cou­ple more years? There will be more dam­age.’

I went to Cartwright Road many times to get wa­ter from a brook there, to get fresh wa­ter. Af­ter they started the Muskrat Falls project, I went to get wa­ter and I saw big trucks and ma­chines and a gate and signs telling me not to come in. I heard we weren’t al­lowed to go in there, only work­ers. Why did they stop us go­ing there? The work­ers can go in there but no­body else can go. Why did they do that? This is Innu land. They should let the el­ders go there and see the dam­age and see what they’re do­ing to our land. We want to go and see if there are any an­i­mals or birds there. Are they safe? This is Innu land and Innu river and Innu peo­ple were there many years hunt­ing and us­ing the land and river. No­body stopped us. When I was young, I never saw any­body stop me or put up gates and say I can’t go on the land. We saw no dam­age; we saw lots of an­i­mals and the peo­ple knew they’d have a good hunt and happy times with their fam­i­lies; they thought ‘our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren will have lots of fresh food to eat.’ My dad was happy to pro­vide food for his fam­ily. Innu peo­ple never saw a big mess and felt they couldn’t go there. We never smelled gas; it was al­ways nice and clean; we could pick berries and not worry that ma­chines had been there and made a mess or left their poi­sons. When I started my ca­noe trips on the Miste shipu 13 years ago, I saw signs telling me not to eat the fish be­cause of mer­cury in the wa­ter. I was afraid then.

Miste shipu is an im­por­tant name. I don’t think peo­ple un­der­stand what Miste shipu means. It means it’s a hu­man be­ing and its voice is cry­ing out ‘don’t kill me. I’m the wa­ter, don’t make me dirty. I don’t want to die. Hear my voice. Without wa­ter, you can­not live.’ We must lis­ten to Miste shipu.

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