Headwaters victory a model for Canada, Cullen tells capacity crowd
February 4th, 2013 - 4:42pm
KITSUMKALUM –It was standing room only Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people who stood up for their rivers crowded into Kitsumkalum Hall to celebrate the permanent ban on oil and gas development in the 400,000-hectare Sacred Headwaters.
“The fight to defend our rivers is a model for the entire country on how to find common ground,” MP Nathan Cullen told the roaring crowd. “We’ll never give up our headwaters.
“As the strong Tahltan women told me many years ago, these rivers are a source of life and part of who we are. It is our duty to defend them, today and always.”
Speaker after speaker at Saturday’s celebration praised the Sacred Headwaters as a precedent-setting model that balances resource development with cultural and ecological protection.
Prominent participants included Tahltan leaders and elders, First Nations leaders from across the Northwest, Skeena swimmer Ali Howard, NDP Opposition western fisheries critic Fin Donnelly, and area municipal and provincial leaders.
The day finished with traditional dancing as First Nations in full regalia and residents from across the North pooled their watershed waters in a symbolic mixing ceremony.
Cullen took a small jar of the mixed waters back to Ottawa, pledging to present it to Parliament as visual proof that, “There is a better way, Mr. Harper.
“There is a better way, Canada.”