Having participated in the recent no pipeline/Idle No more Movement in Kelowna, I am adding my small voice to the many in opposition to building the Northern Gateway pipeline.
I have lived my whole life (72 years) in the Okanagan Valley and have seen many changes.
As a child living in Peachland, I remember drinking water from the creeks and lake and watching Trepanier Creek turn red with Kokanee when they came to spawn.
With growth and development in the Valley, the once pristine natural beauty I enjoyed growing up is gone forever.
As a youth living in Westbank, I went to school with the native kids and also suffered racism and discrimination.
The Idle No More movement is about preserving the natural beauty of their lands, their rich culture/tradition and restoring dignity and justice. It's also about recognizing the rights of indigenous people around the world.
Watching Grand Chief Stewart Philip and other First Nations people and supporters left out in the cold, while the Enbridge review panel controlled the agenda, was a slap in the face to the democratic process.
As Chief Philip said, the Idle No More movement is a game-changer.
It was inspiring and empowering to see so many people being part of history in the making.
It is time that Stephen Harper and Big Oil stop speaking with forked tongues, trying to sell Canadians a pipe dream flowing with dirty black snake oil.
It is time the "idle-way-too-much" government listens to the voices of the First Nations people, honours their rights and protects the rights of their grandchildren and their children.
Power to the people!
Hajime (Harold) Naka,