On Wednesday June 25th, Access to Media Education Society’s Executive Director, Deblekha Guin will be setting off on a digital storytelling road trip to Fort MacMurray to attend the 5th annual Tar Sand Healing Walk.
She will be traveling with filmmaker and community mobilizer Natanis Desjarlais and 6 young people who want to learn the tools of media production to have their visions and views on climate justice heard. Among them is Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a 13 year old Singer and Climate Justice and Indigenous rights advocate. This year the Healing Walk will offer workshops about a variety of topics including First Nations Litigation and Renewable Energy, there will also be Strategy Sessions and Key Note Speakers including George Poitras, former Chief and members of the Mikisew Cree Nation and Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba.
The walk will go from June 27th to June 29th and will be the last Tar Sands Healing Walk. The walk will follow a 14km loop starting at 11am on June 28th. Many who have attended the walk in the past speak of the physical discomfort, headaches and sore throats from their proximity to the tar sands pollution. In northern Alberta, local Aboriginal communities are forced to endure highly degraded air and water quality. 80% of the traditional territory of the Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations has been rendered inaccessible for most of the year by tar sands development, and the Beaver Lake Cree have documented 20,000 treaty-rights violation.
The Healing Walk first began in 2010. Over the past 4-5 years it has expanded to include over 500 people from around the world and all parts of Turtle Island, as well as hundreds of others walking in Solidarity in other parts of Canada. AMES is honoured to partake in this journey and to be among those walking with and standing behind all Nations being directly and indirectly impacted by current Tar Sands and mining practices.
Please consider helping to spread the word and/or donating to the Healing Walk.