John A. MacDonald and Egerton Ryerson going ape shit in their graves this carving not of them instead of Amanda Polchies, Mi’kmaw woman from Elispogtog First Nation, defending her community and drinking water from being raped by colonial frac’ers? Beautiful courage: “Wisp of Hope.”

Mi’kmaw artist picks iconic fracking protest photo for newest stone carving, ‘It was an image I’d always wanted to try to carve,’ says Steve Lawton by Nic Meloney, CBC News, Jun 13, 2021

Mi’kmaw stone carver Steve Lawton of Qalipu First Nation in N.L. is making an artwork inspired by a 2013 photo of Amanda Polchies at a protest against shale gas fracking in Rexton, N.B. (Steve Lawton/Ossie Michelin/APTN)

Steve Lawton says he’s wanted to carve a stone representation of a photo taken during a 2013 anti-shale gas fracking protest near Rexton, N.B., since he first saw it.

Lawton, a member of Qalipu First Nation in Newfoundland now living on Vancouver Island, was serving with the Canadian Air Force in Germany when the Mi’kmaw protests made national and international news in October 2013. 

“It was a powerful feeling to see such a thing happening back in Canada while I was working, dealing with things of a military nature,” Lawton said. 

“It was a hard feeling to see this happening back home and wishing I was there.” 

Alongside non-Indigenous residents of New Brunswick, members of Mi’kmaw communities blocked roads, set up camps and staged rallies in protest of proposals to develop a shale gas industry in New Brunswick and the use of hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydro-fracking.

The photograph, taken by Inuk journalist Ossie Michelin for APTN News, captured a moment when a line of RCMP officers attempted to force the protesters from the road. 

Amanda Polchies, a Mi’kmaw woman from Elispogtog First Nation, is seen kneeling before the officers in prayer, holding up an eagle feather. 

“This type of moment in our history really speaks to the major Indigenous issues we have across Canada. It really stuck with me for all these years,” said Lawton. 

“When I knew that carving was something I was really being driven to do by my spirit, it was an image I’d always wanted to try to carve.” 

A wisp of hope

Lawton said he’s been carving smaller items from stone since 2009, teaching himself, without the use of power tools. Before starting on this carving, he reached out to Polchies to ensure he had her consent. At first she was resistant to the idea.

“Then he told me it was called Wisp of Hope,” said Polchies.

“So to me, his vibe was good.” 

Mi’kmaw stone carver Steve Lawton of Qalipu First Nation in N.L. is making an artwork inspired by a 2013 photo of Amanda Polchies at a protest against shale gas fracking in Rexton, N.B. (CBC)

Polchies said she’s still surprised by how many people have seen the photo and felt moved to contact her about it. She said she tries to allow people to connect with the image in whatever way feels right, and said she’s grateful that it’s drawn attention to issues important to her community. 

When the photo started to get shared widely, Polchies said she learned quickly how those moments can have impact. 

“I did it because at the time that’s what I needed to do,” she said. “It’s what I think people needed to see.” 

Lawton said he’d heard a media interview Polchies had done about the moment and a reporter had asked her how she’d felt facing the line of officers. 

‘I did it because at the time that’s what I needed to do. It’s what I think people needed to see,’ says Amanda Polchies, seen here being led away by RCMP after the photographed incident. (Submitted by Amanda Polchies)

“Her words were that she’d felt a wisp of hope. It was a small moment in a very confrontational, dangerous explosive situation,” he said. 

Wisp of Hope is the largest project he’s taken on, Lawton said. Isolation requirements related to the coronavirus pandemic have allowed him to begin and make progress, but he said it may take many months to complete. 

He said he hopes it ends up in a cultural centre or museum where many can see it. 

Refer also to:

bye bye mr. (cruel) ryerson!

bye bye mr. (cruel) macdonald!

1999: Alberta Energy Corporation, became Encana, CEO Gwyn Morgan defends company conspiring with RCMP for staged bombing of a gas well

RCMP blows pipeline-bomb investigation and Encana workers give press the finger

RCMP told Ernst they “don’t do surveillance” when she refused them entry into her home without a warrant while trespassing on her land, lying and trying to terrify her silent after she served legal papers on Encana/Ovintiv, AER & Alberta gov’t.

RCMP analyst
Members of the RCMP in camouflage clothing with high powered weapons at Elsipogtog.

2012: Counter-terrorism unit set up by Harper (on Encana’s orders?) to protect Alberta energy industry

2012: RCMP spied on B.C. natives protesting pipeline plan, documents show

2012: Mi’kmaq group protests Cape Breton oil exploration, About 20 Mi’kmaq protesters set up tent and campfire near Canso Causeway

2012: A Dead Man’s Prints, RCMP request to fingerprint Wiebo Ludwig’s corpse refused

2013: Canada’s spy agencies chastised for duping courts; CSIS deliberately breached its “duty of candour” to the courts

2013: Judge rejects Elsipogtog injunction application to stop SWN seismic testing for shale gas in New Brunswick

2013: Shale gas: the RCMP and CSIS on high alert; Les fractivistes rendent la GRC nerveuse, RCMP and CSIS watching citizens concerned about hydraulic fracturing very closely

2013: 200 RCMP? Snipers descend on Mi’kmaq-led camp, children and Elders on site, Rexton, New Brunswick, Canada

2013: Mi’kmaq Warrior [youth] risks losing leg after being shot by RCMP rubber slug in Thursday’s cop attack. Internal bleeding went untended for two days due to shock

2013: The often-ignored facts about Elsipogtog, The majority of Canadians have been woefully under-informed about what is really going in Elsipogtog

2013: Texas fracking company SWN Resources Canada Inc. sues Mi’kmaq warrior youth

2013: Chevron halts Romania shale work after using riot police to harm concerned citizens in Romania, RCMP use riot police against concerned Canadians, Mi’kmaq in New Brunswick refuse to back down, defy another court injunction

2013: Is there enforcement of New Brunswick’s “toughest in the world” frac regulations? One month later, aquifer still broken due to SWN’s seismic testing. Energy Minister Craig Leonard blames protesters

2013: Standing in Solidarity with Elsipogtog: Help Protect our Water and our Land; Alberta upholds ban of aboriginal groups’ concerns contrary to urging of Appeal Court judge

2013: Faced with injunction, Lubicon ponder next move, Lubicon Lake Nation defies court injunction over fracking blockade

2013: We’re Being Watched, How corporations and law enforcement are spying on environmentalists

2013: Hey CSIS, farmers are not terrorists, Anti-fracking activists have been labelled a security threat

2013: Petro-state politics prompts CSIS to spy on citizens at alarming rate, FOIs reveal

2014: Is this Canada? “Up all night with a license to kill” Miles Howe reports on the trial of Germaine ‘Junior’ Breau and Aaron Francis, Mi’kmaq Warriors

2014: Suzanne Patless, Mi’kmaq Warrior, in Calgary, presents her experience of the “good cop-bad cop” RCMP heavily armed sniper attack

2014: Elsipogtog man says RCMP officers visited home with questions about Facebook comment

2014; Chuck Strahl, CSIS Watchdog Chair, Federal Former Reform-Conservative MP, Registers As Northern Gateway Lobbyist

2014: Ex-MP Chuck Strahl shouldn’t mix spy committee and pipeline lobbying; Canada’s chief spy watchdog, Harper Govt Appointee Chuck Strahl, working for Enbridge since 2011

2014: RCMP ignore “volley of gunfire” to concerned citizen’s home but warn government and industry: “Environmental extremists pose ‘clear and present criminal threat’ to Canada’s energy sector – more likely to strike at critical infrastructure than religiously inspired terrorists.” Canadian and Australian oil and gas lobby groups warn: Industry operations “impact aquifers” and “contaminate water resources” as pre-determined “bullshit” investigations, cover-ups and court rulings fix everything. No word if “religiously inspired terrorists” plan to retire because of the intense competition

2014: Complaint filed over alleged illegal searches of private information on Northern Gateway pipeline opponents by RCMP, CSIS and handing the information over to oil companies and Canada’s national energy regulator

2014: Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) illegally spied on Canadians; Harper government insisted CSEC never spied on Canadians; Spy agency’s work with CSIS, RCMP fuels fears of privacy breaches

2014: Meet ASSIST: Alberta’s very own Spy Agency, “Alberta Security and Strategic Intelligence Support Team;” Did ASSIST break into Carmen Langer’s home and steal his files?

2014: Peace River, Alberta: Thieves stole computer, files but left cash, reports farmer Carmen Langer (who spoke out for years about Baytex’s toxic emissions)

2015: Did Harper and the oil and gas industry order RCMP/CSIS/Snipers to attack innocent mothers and grandmothers, and set aflame stripped police cars in New Brunswick to discredit all Canadians concerned about frac harms and lay a red carpet for Harper’s Bill C-51?

2015: RCMP pushes for new law to get Canadians’ private information without a warrant. Who’s pushing the RCMP?

2015: How rampant is child abuse by RCMP officers? “Worst case of abuse police have seen.” Canada’s environmental activists seen as ‘threat to national security’, Police, security agencies describe green groups’ protests, **petitions** as ‘forms of attack’

2015: Exclusive by Miles Howe: Military missed opportunity for peaceful end to 2013 New Brunswick fracking protests, Internal documents show repeated Warrior Society requests for negotiating assistance denied

2015: Did Harper’s thugs spy on more than 160 protests, community events, demonstrations May 2014 – Feb 2015? Protests tracked includes vigil, ‘peace demonstration’

While Supt. Mark Fenton awaits the results of his discipline hearing, few police officers have been held accountable for the mass arrests and “kettling” during the G20. The only officer to be criminally convicted for his actions that weekend, Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani, will not serve any jail time

2015: MUST READ! Will Canadian cops become next victims of industry’s water contamination and fraud? A dangerous new police “best practice?” RCMP members “drink the water” while “trying to understand the shale gas industry” and “educate” themselves. No word on if RCMP plan to try to understand, or investigate, the dangerous and rampant fraud associated with oil and gas industry’s widespread frac contamination, or the number to call if families need RCMP “water taster” to come taste their water after it’s been frac’d, as companies, regulators, and research councils try to cover it up, while lying to the public (including the police) that now toxic and explosive water is “common, normal, and safe”

2016: CRIME Child-sex tourism continues to rise in Canada and abroad: two year study. “In Canada, indigenous women and children are especially vulnerable and are often moved around to be exploited near oil rigs”

2016: “Corruption … At A Gallop.” Ex-Justice Minister Peter MacKay urges: “Respect the Rule of Law” while the RCMP, Encana, AER, Alberta and Harper governments busily break it?

2016: Family begs Alberta NDP government for help & compensation, two years after fleeing farm poisoned by Baytex. Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) investigates explosion at shut-in Baytex wellsite, When will AER investigate Encana intentionally & illegally frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers in 2004, when will Alberta government file criminal charges?

2016: CEPA, Canada’s main environmental law isn’t working. Of course it isn’t, the oil and gas industry is largely exempt while emissions of the most harmful chemicals are on the rise. Live in a frac field? Hold your breath, don’t drink the water.

2016: Must Read, Robin Mathews’ Best Yet: British Columbia And Imperial Globalization. Happy Rape Canada Day!

2016: Canada Revenue Agency owes taxpayers a general legal “duty of care,” but not AER to citizens harmed by the regulator’s gross negligence, fraud and cover-up of illegal fracking? CRA not allowed to intimidate, threaten us, but AER is, including in bad faith, falsely labeling us as terrorists and violating Charter rights?

2016: Who are CSEC, CSIS Working for? Oil Companies & the fraudulent, lying, Charter violating, “No Duty of Care,” legally immune, ex-Encana VP led AER? Harper’s Communist China?

2017: Robin Mathews: From Harper to Trudeau, The Saga of Corruption in Canada Continues. False News. False Newsmakers. Untroubled Power. The Supreme Court of Canada publishes lies too

2017: A Room Full of Liars & Fascism in Action in Canada: Ever get frac’d? Listen to Steve Harper? Rebel Media? Read Supreme Court of Canada rulings? Minister Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale affirms “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) use of the major crime technique.”

2017: Welcome to Canadian “justice” in Hell: CSIS officials and Federal Justice Dept lawyers being taught to tell the truth and share information with courts!

2017: “Amanda Korody/John Nuttall/RCMP.” Open Letter from Robin Mathews to BC Attorney General Suzanne Anton, PM Justin Trudeau, Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, Complaints Commission for the RCMP, The Public Prosecution Service of Canada and The Civilian Review

2017: Albania’s deputy prime minister declares villagers with homes damaged by Canada’s Bankers Petroleum to get full compensation. What do frac harmed in Canada get? Regulator fraud & cover-up; bullying, intimidation & harassment by authorities, even RCMP; secrets & lies; cowardly elected officials enabling more harms; AER violating Charter rights with Supreme Court of Canada fabricating “facts” for the AER

2019: Canada’s RCMP keep on violating the law, along with oil and gas companies and their enabling law-violating regulators, while Supreme Court judges lie to enable the enabling.

2019: Oh Canada! RCMP as vile and demented as our legal system? ‘Creepy and unsettling’: Activist voices concerns over her RCMP profile

2019: new National Security & Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) members announced: Outgoing NDP MP Murray Rankin, Q.C. (Chair) & U of Ottawa prof Craig Forcese; Multi-hatted watchdog will have full access to virtually all information held by federal govt. Why? To give to Israel and multinational corporations, and abuse innocent Canadians with?

2019: ‘A shocking violation of free expression’: Civil liberties groups release ‘Protest Papers,’ call on CSIS for more transparency. Pfffft! As if oily politicians, RCMP & courts will let that happen!

2019: Albertan Stewart Shields to elected officials with article by Andrew Nikiforuk: When Indigenous Assert Rights, Canada Sends Militarized Police

2019: Unlawful arrest near Houston of Unist’ot’en guest: “Today the RCMP have arrested the person complying with the injunction and not those breaking it.” Meanwhile, 800-900 man camp, to last 3-4 years, approved in residential area on Wet’suwet’en territory south of Houston, by Board of Regional District of Buckley-Nechako (previously denied, partly because of TC Energy’s lousy communication with the public)

2019: Premier Jason Kenney gives oil & gas industry $30 million gift from taxpayers to attack concerned citizens courageous enough to speak out,

2019: Who orders a new hearing for a Supreme Court of Canada ruling where 9 justices knowingly published a lie and sent it to the media? Who “slaps” Justice Rosalie Abella for knowingly lying in her ruling and belittling the applicant?

2019: Nasty! Canadian courts describing “individuals as exhibiting ‘vexatious-style’ behavior without formally designating them as a vexatious litigant.” Is that how Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella gets away with ruling AER found Ernst to be “vexatious litigant” when evidence proves AER found Ernst to be a “criminal,” 7 years later, a terrorist – all without charges, evidence, trial or due process? With AG Jody Wilson-Raybould saying & doing nothing about Canada’s top judicial farce?

2019: CAPP/Kenney’s Snitch Submission Email for $2.5 Million “McCarthy style witch hunt” of courageous concerned citizens, to help polluting, job-decimating, billion $ profit-taking, largely foreign-owned multinationals. The Inquiry lies, says not linked to Kenney’s war room even though inquiry is reportedly paid for out of war room’s budget! Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allen is industry-biased of course: Was Director of Compton Petroleum, chaired Compton’s Audit Committee (company with a greedy sordid sour history)

2019: How many Canadian judges work from the bench for the oil and gas industry, even American corporations, violating civil Canadians’ Charter rights? Justice Kenneth Affleck clearly coddles Trans Mountain

2019: Violation of court order in Trans Mountain appeal ‘attack on the rule of law,’ judge says. Rule of Law in Caveman Canada? What Rule of Law? Oh Ya! For the Rich! Oh Ya! Industry’s! Oh Ya! Law-violating politicians’! Oh Ya! Charter-violating regulators! Oh Ya! Protecting rapists and pedophiles while re-victimizing victims

2020: Oil giants help fund powerful police groups in top US cities: “Many powerful companies that drive environmental injustice are also backers of the same police departments that tyrannize the very communities these corporate actors pollute”

2020: Oil & gas friendly spy agency, CSIS, that for years, “relied on legal doctrine of Crown immunity as defence against criminal liability,” chastised in court yet again, for pissing on the rule of law. Better tell our lying Supreme Court of Canada judges; murdering illegally spying police; RCMP illegally operating as mobsters for Encana & AER trying to scare frac-harmed plaintiffs into silence and violently arresting innocents to enable oil & gas profits; too many criminal, lying politicians (that appoint our judges or become judges); lying “justice” lawyers; lying, rule-violating public interest lawyers; etc etc etc.

2020: “This is totally wild.” Coastal GasLink’s final Technical Data Report for their pipeline being rammed through Wet’suwet’en territory rejected by B.C. Environmental Assessment Office due to omission of significant economic, environmental, social and health impacts. Where cumulative impacts evaluated? What will Trudeau, Horgan, Scheer, Kenney, CGL and RCMP do now? Apologize on their knees? Kanenhariyo Seth LaFort: “When you ask for the rule of law, then you have to follow it yourself. You cannot remove people from their own lands at the end of a gun. A crime has been committed, and the RCMP are the criminals.”

2020: “Papal Bull” continues to piss on Reconciliation in Canada! Yet another white privileged court ruling unanimously pissing on Indigenous Rights. I am horrified to be Canadian.

2020: RCMP Mobilizing Officers to Houston, NEBC, Intensifying Harassment of Camps. RCMP are lying, as usual, “saying one thing and doing the exact opposite.” BC Premier John Horgan: “The rule of law needs to prevail.” Whose? White Privileged Rich Man’s Law? Oil & Gas Industry’s Law? Racists’ Law?

2019: Oh Racist Colonial Canada: As vile under Trudeau as Harper! Police prepared to shoot Wet’suwet’en land defenders; Documents show Commanders argued “lethal overwatch is req’d” – a term for deploying snipers – like in Elsipotog in 2013. RCMP commanders also instructed officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want.” PS Merry Christmas.

2017: A Room Full of Liars & Fascism in Action in Canada: Ever get frac’d? Listen to Steve Harper? Rebel Media? Read Supreme Court of Canada rulings? Minister Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale affirms “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) use of the major crime technique.”

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.