Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
SINGNIGTOG, ELSIPOGTOG FIRST NATION Violence erupted yesterday at the site of an anti-fracking blockade at the Elsipogtog First Nation, located near Rexton, New Brunswick, more commonly known among First Nation citizens as Mi’kmaq Territory.
Hundreds of First Nations unarmed protestors were there to voice their opposition to the fracking on Mi’kmaq Territory yesterday, including elders, women and children.
The blockade has been since September 28.
About a hundred Royal Canadian Mounted Police attempted to break up the blockade by shooting rubber bullets and spraying tear gas into the crowd of protesters.
Forty First Nation citizens were arrested, including Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren James (Aaron) Sock.
Robert Levi, tribal councilor from the Elsipogtog First Nation, told the Canadian Press in an interview:
“They sprayed the crowd that was there,”
“The chief was manhandled a little bit and all hell broke loose.”
Elizabeth Marshall, of the Eskasoni Treaty Beneficiaries Association posted this statement on a social media site:
"We, the Mi'kmaq Treaty beneficiary with the support of the Mi'kmaq women of Mi'kmaki'k stand united for the protection of our water as a Nation within our homeland which we hold legal title. Water is sacred, without water no life can exist. As Mi'kmaq, we have the responsibility of stewardship and this stewardship is reflected in the treaty relationship which is based upon our covenant with Creator. To this end we have inherited the duty to defend all that is sacred.
The dangers of shale gas development pose an irreparable harm to the water table. The risk is preventable only by prohibition. A prohibition is not possible under current environmental review regulations thanks to the legislative changes imposed by the Harper Conservatives this past year. We believe that water is critical to our survival, and therefore we support our brothers and sisters of Elsipogtog at Signigtog who were attacked by a military show of force by RCMP this morning for their efforts to defend the sacred waters of Signigtog."
posted October 18, 2013 9:10 am edt