Monday, June 17, 2013
It's official: At least one representative of Fast for the Earth will participate in the Tar Sands Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on July 5-6.
Fort McMurray is among the communities suffering most on the front lines of tar sands development. As you probably know, tar sands oil is what the Keystone XL pipeline would carry. It's not regular crude oil, by any stretch. Extracting it, refining it, transporting it, using it--kills, in a variety of ways. The tar sands extraction area is now an ugly wasteland, growing by the day, and the people who live there are being sacrificed to corporate greed and humanity's unquenchable thirst for fossil fuels.
"I look forward to walking ceremonially with the First Nations of Canada," says Fast for the Earth co-founder Phyllis Cole-Dai, "and hundreds if not thousands of other people who will be present because they want this environmental destruction and native genocide to stop. This will not be a protest. It will be an act of spiritual witness and resistance."
Cole-Dai will represent all Fast for the Earth participants who, unable to make the trip themselves, nevertheless strongly support the walk, and the cause, from a distance.
Learn more about the Healing Walk at this link.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Fast for the Earth leadership is currently trying to decide whether it will be possible to send a representative to this very significant event. We encourage you to consider attending, or to do something locally where you live in solidarity with those who will be participating in Fort McMurray.
This post about the Tar Sands Healing Walk by Clayton Thomas-Muller was first published on June 6, 2013, by Yes! Magazine.
A couple years ago I was asked by the Keepers of the Athabasca to be Master of Ceremonies for a unique event: the first annual walk to heal the Canadian tar sands.
It took place in the region of the most controversial energy project on earth. The idea was not to have a protest, but instead to engage in a meaningful ceremonial action to pray for the healing of Mother Earth, which has been so damaged by the tar sands industry. Members of the five First Nations of the Athabasca region and residents of the nearby town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, tired of the never-ending fight with big oil and its supporters in the Canadian government, had made a conscious choice to protect their way of life. This was done by turning to ceremony and asking through prayer and the physical act of walking on the earth for the hearts of those harming Mother Earth through extreme energy extraction to be healed.
By extreme energy extraction, I’m talking about practices like tars sands mining and fracking, which the oil and gas industry has had to resort to now that most of the easy-to-find liquid crude is gone. By scraping the earth for fossil fuels that are mixed with sand and rock, these techniques do tremendous damage to the places where they occur.
My journey started in Fort McMurray, also know as tar sands boom town. Many have described this place as the land of milk and honey, a place were you can trade five years of your life (and soul) and be financially “set up.” I met with a motley crew of activists, elders, and youth from Fort Chipewyan, Fort McKay, Anzac, and the metro areas of Calgary and Edmonton, as well as some allies who had traveled from as far as British Columbia and beyond.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Please consider approaching your local government, house of worship and other institutions to strongly urge their divestment from fossil fuel companies. Want to know how? Visit Go Fossil Free.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Fast for the Earth organizer Carl Kline and Fast participant Dustin Bartlett, both UCC ministers, were instrumental in bringing this resolution to a vote.
Please urge your faith community to take action on fossil fuel divestment. Need some guidance? Visit this link to see a sample resolution in support of divestment. And Go Fossil Free has many resources that will assist you.