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On dirty fuel, a lesson from the canoe
by ivona vujica (ivujica [at]
Wednesday Aug 15th, 2012 12:13 PM
Canoes, not tankers, connect us to the heart and soul of our origins and revival in Burrard Inlet.
When Vancouver was burning to the ground in 1886, the Squamish Nation launched their canoes and paddled from the North Shore across Burrard Inlet to rescue those who were trying to escape the fire on the far side.

What motivated the launch of the Squamish canoes was the traditional elders teaching that those in need should receive help.

120 years later, the Squamish Nation held a ceremony and celebration to remember their Great Vancouver Fire rescue mission that helped the people of Vancouver.

It was the sacred canoe ceremony that marked the historical event.

Further into the past, according to tradition, it was the sacred canoe that saved the Nation's children when the waters of the melting icebergs flooded the land and reached up to the highest peaks of the mountains at that time. There is historical evidence that canoes have saved the day in other times of danger, suffering and need.

In current times, of ominous global warming, we need to look (to these traditions) to show us the way out of the systemic addiction to oil: Only if we had enough wisdom and foresight to spare the old growth forest where the canoe comes from, and only if we allowed the whales to come back to their homeland in Burrard Inlet can we resolve this issue.

Oil is sinking the Earth-ship. Respecting and protecting old growth forests, sacred canoes and whales is the gateway for our kids' future.

Ivona Vujica North/West Vancouver

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