Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of water to the Anishinaabe people.  According to our teachings and traditional knowledge, it is said that all things in nature are interconnected.  The health of the water is directly related to the health of the environment.  The same goes with the natural flow of the rivers.

No one knows that better than First Nations living in the plains and in northern Ontario.

Every spring, First Nations are victims of the flood waters.  And flooding seems to be getting worse, year after year.

As Anishinaabe people, we know this is the result of an unbalanced state of the environment.  Climate change, pollution and unsustainable development has changed the Earth dramatically in the past few generations.  The result has been unparalleled global disasters, extreme weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and the flooding we’ve seen take place in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario.

This year, sixteen communities have declared states of emergencies thus far in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, including evacuations of the Peguis First Nation, Cowessess First Nation, and Red Earth First Nation.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (Liberal, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) couldn’t believe that the federal government was not coming to the aid of the First Nations affected.

“I can’t believe the federal government shuts down for an election,” said a clearly frustrated Ignatieff.  “This is an emergency.”

“These communities flood year after year, it’s not good enough.  We have to sit down with First Nations leadership and think about how we get a preventative strategy,” he said.

As part of the Liberal platform, Ignatieff announced his $225 million fresh water strategy which includes a plan to address long term solutions to the problem of prairie flooding.

Iggy is right.  First Nations need aid now.  They also need a long term solution to this issues.  Most of all, Canada needs to get a grasp on environmental issues.  That can only happen with a government that cares for the environment and supports First Nations during their time of need.  That time is now.  It should have to wait after an election.  That’s irrelevant to the hundreds of Anishinaabe people being evacuated from their communities.

Ignatieff was a guest at the First Nations University pow-wow speaking to First Nations supporters.

Toronto First Aid