To the Expositor:
In the January edition of the Manitoulin Expositor I have found we have “allies” (‘Kudos to First Nations communities embracing sustainable project,’ page 5), so I must say megwetch to Stephanie Cicciarella of Toronto. Thanks for stating the position of the First Nations. There are so many that are blinded by their own ignorance and stupidity. I don’t think there is anywhere on Manitoulin you can get lost. You could probably walk in any direction and come out on a road, farm, cottage or residence. So when people refer to “pristine landscape” I have to wonder where they are referring to.
I have to wonder why people dislike, or even say hate, the wind farms project. I guess if the Northeast Town had 50 percent ownership this would go through. Just like the landfill site between Sheguiandah and Little Current.
In Wikwemikong, you have a seniors group opposing the wind farm and trying to use scare tactics, or fear, and it just doesn’t seem to be working. There are questions I would like to ask this group. Back when they had that earthquake in Japan, could any of these so-called elders with their infinite wisdom see if any of that radiation made its way over to North America and into our backyards? Do you think the people are going to start seeing higher rates of cancer or deformities? After all, through the news it has been stated that Japan’s garbage has finally arrived on the west shores of North America. Mind you, radiation travels on the wind (jet stream) where it probably arrived here weeks or days after this happened.
In past issues, letter writers claimed the windmills would be poisoning the breath of God. I say what foolishness or nonsense. You never hear any complaints about the pulp and paper mill in Espanola and the amounts of pollution that’s put out each day (week) and even the amount of pollution that makes its way into the Spanish River. What about a bit more to the northeast? How many tons of pollution is put out by the super stack? Do you ever hear any complaints about that? I have lived here on Manitoulin for the past 52 years and I have never heard anyone object to these multinationals. How can your leadership address social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, with no source of revenue to support such programs? What has your group done to address these issues in your community? In my community, there are chronic whiners, a way of life for some. Offer a solution of how we could all make our communities a healthier place to live. There was a doctor from Gore Bay who gave his two cents, and referred to cheaper electricity made by nuclear energy. I would pose the same question: did any radiation make its way to here from that incident with that reactor in Japan? Don’t you think it would be easier to dismantle a windmill rather than a nuclear reactor? Isn’t it true the nuclear waste can be radioactive for thousands of years? I for one would not want a nuclear reactor near Manitoulin or the North Shore. So the doctor should be mindful of his message to the public. Perhaps help those who truly need your help.
The windmills remind you, plus everyone else, of who you are and that is consumers—consumers of energy that is used to destroy the natural world. I am sure that even in the seniors group in Wiky, there is not single senior, nor anyone else that uses an outhouse year round or hauls their water by the bucket. Everyone uses electricity or depends on it one way or another. It has been said that if you want to change the world, you have to start by changing your own. So stop using electricity and then maybe I will listen to you.
In modern day Canada, you actually have third world living conditions, just like James Bay and communities along its coast. People want to contribute to countries which have these conditions, so start contributing right here. Just think, prior to 520 years ago our First Nations people existed for thousands and thousands of years without jails or any institutions that exist today. Look at what has happened in the past 520 years. We have come from the time of Christopher Columbus, the explorers, colonialism, Christianity to the modern age, and the world at the brink of self-destruction, global warming and the extinction of many species.
In closing, I have seen some Native humour in the local papers. It was a young boy asking his grandfather about all animals being killed off, all the trees cut down and all the rivers poisoned. Will the white man return back to his home after doing all of this? he asked. The grandfather replied, “This is when they feel at home.”
Native peoples came from being landlords to third world living conditions. If only society paid a tax from the millions and millions and dollars reaped from this land to help change and or help the Native peoples to maintain their ways of life and lifestyles from the way it used to be. I have faith everything is going to change and windmills will start the process of healing.
Jake Ago Neh
Sheguiandah First Nation