Target: Jesse Cardinal and Eriel Deranger, Healing Walk Event Organizers
Goal: Commend indigenous groups and activists for conducting the Healing Walk along Alberta’s tar sands
As tar sands destroy climates all over the world, native elders recently led indigenous groups and activists in a healing walk along the heart of the Canadian tar sands industry in Athabasca River in Fort McMurray, Alberta. And now with the recent news that investors will be pulling out of deals with Canada’s tar sands, those who participated in the healing walk surely deserve our thanks. Please applaud those who walked in hopes of healing the wounds that tar sands have caused.
Those involved in the healing walk included both native and non-native activists. They walked to spiritually heal the land from an extremely extractive process that is not worth the damage it causes. And apparently big corporations agree, since Storebrand, a huge Norwegian financial services company, and Rabobank, a Dutch bank, have both divested from extractive energy industries, including tar sands, coal, and shale gas. These companies’ divestment is very good news, considering that an international panel of scientists recently reported that the approximately 200 square kilometers toxic wastewater lakes from the tar sands poses a direct threat to nearby rivers like the Mackenzie and Athabasca.
Amidst plans to expand tar sands sites threefold over the next twenty years, the walkers sought to heal the land through prayer and spiritual appeal. With no protest signs allowed on the walk, the healing walk invested its energy in praying for the recovery of the land and all that is connected to it, including the air, water, and the people who are sustained by it. Show these activists your appreciation of their walk across land that is in desperate need of healing and protection.
Dear Healing Walk Organizers Jesse Cardinal and Eriel Deranger,
Thank you for organizing an event that sought to heal lands poisoned and polluted by tar sands. This unsustainable practice is devastating the climate and countless communities. Your walk to end the destruction that is polluting not only the land, but the people who depend upon it, is inspiring. The tar sands healing walk sanctified environmental activism and deserves broad support and sincere thanks.
I applaud your organizing efforts that led to the convergence of various people to peacefully call for the healing and restoration of their land. The extremely extractive process of open pit mining must end, and your efforts have succeeded in raising awareness of the devastation that tar sands can cause.
The sacred walk provides the right kind of context and perspective as to the effects the tar sands industry has on the ecosystem and its inhabitants. And perhaps the prayer has been partly answered, since big companies like Storebrand and Rabobank have divested from the extreme fuel extraction industry. Please continue your activism until the lands are free from tar sands.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Velcrow Ripper via Flickr