“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” ~ Isaiah 41.17
Ever wondered where our water comes from when you turn on the tap? It turns out, that all our water in Winnipeg comes from Shoal lake – about 80 km to the east on the Manitoba – Ontario border. This lake is on Shoal Lake 40 First Nation territory. When the aqueduct connecting this lake to Winnipeg was built about 100 years ago (the same aqueduct which runs right next to our farm in Haddashville), some of their territory was expropriated and they were moved onto a peninsula on the lake. There was no consultation – the bulldozers just showed up. Shortly afterwards, a channel was cut through that peninsula to divert dirty water from Falcon lake away from the intake. This effectively cut off all access to the Shoal Lake 40 community. They have no all-weather road to access their community even though they are fairly close to the Trans-Canada highway. The ferry is unreliable and crossing the lake at freeze-up or break-up is dangerous and has resulted in fatalities. To top it off, they have been under a boil water advisory for over 15 years. Many things are wrong with this picture – and we want to stand with our neighbours to promote justice in this area. We are connected to them – they are our neighbours – we have a voice we can use. That’s why we are part of a network of churches who are responding to a direct request from the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, to stand with them. That’s also why we put the sign up in our window on Main St.
For more info on the “Churches for Freedom Road” campaign, as well as to find out what you can do, go here.
Here is a short video showing and describing our sign.
Andy visited last Fall and the School of Justice is planning on going this winter. If you’re interested in joining them on this trip, please contact Suhail.