The Fire Over Water: Mi’kmaq Warrior Suzanne Patles speaks February 14 in Saskatoon about protecting her community from fracking; Blood Tribe raise concerns about water contamination, loss and land rights


February 14, 2014

7:00 pm

Part of Mi’kmaq Warrior National Speaking Tour
Oskayak High School
919 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 1B8
View Map · Get Directions

Come hear from Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society who has been on the frontlines of this inspiring grassroots Indigenous resistance to protect the water and land, and the ongoing criminal charges and jail time that many Mi’kmaq warriors are facing.

Mi’kmaq Warrior anti-fracking tour visits Calgary, First Nation groups raise concerns about water and land rights by CBC News, February 11, 2014
Aboriginal activists on a national speaking tour to protest fracking brought their message to Calgary last night. The panel discussion featured a civil liberties lawyer and speakers from the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society and Blood Tribe. The goal was to raise awareness about the concerns Mi’kmaq warriors and Blood Tribe residents have about fracking on their land. “The issue of fracking and the related issues around that are coming to affect people all over the world actually,” said Rev. Bill Phipps, who moderated the panel discussion.

Concerns have been raised in the past about ground water contamination as well as the amount of clean drinking water used in the process. Lori Brave Rock from the Blood Tribe reserve in southern Alberta says fracking started in her community in 2010. “There really was no chance that we had to you know protest to stop it. It was basically a done deal,” she said. Brave Rock says the fracking contract on her reserve expires next year and it won`t be renewed.

“If we don’t look towards a moratorium within southern Alberta, or within Alberta as a whole, we are not really gaining anything,” she said.

But some First Nations are taking a more aggressive approach to their protests and have been met with strong police reaction. “Our response was waking up to a hundred guns pointed directly at us,” said Suzanne Patles with the Mi`kmaq Warriors Society. … “Not everybody has to stand up, put their lives on the line and be a warrior — have a gun pointed to your head. It’s not everybody’s role and responsibility, but if it is then do it,” said Patles. Patles was arrested, but her charges were dropped. Her spouse and a brother are still behind bars and awaiting trial. [Emphasis added]

“Jane Doe” SLAPPs Back! Defending Lawsuit to Silence & Intimidate Anti-Fracking Protests by Willi Nolan, December 3, 2014, Willi Nolan Shares

Make a Donation to support the Willi Nolan – “Jane Doe”  Legal Defense fund here!

Note:  We are working with groups and individuals to defend against illegal actions by government, police and corporations… we welcome others who are challenging similar problems in their communities.

This page contains links about defending the injunction and SLAPP lawsuit that SWN Canada laid against me and others, including “Jane and John Doe” — it contains links to pages with a lot more information, including my work as a woman protector of the lands and waters.

The “Jane Doe SLAPPs Back!” Statement of Defence is bringing the fight to a national and international level… and is joining the struggles of ALL peoples against destructive corporations, especially fracking.

“Jane Doe” SLAPPs Back!

Community activist Willi Nolan was named in a SLAPP suit (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) by Southwestern Energy Canada (SWN) for lost profits due to peaceful protests in New Brunswick. When SWN tried to discontinue their SLAPP suit against her – and only her – she took the opportunity to join herself with “Jane Doe” – every woman in the province who is opposed to shale gas development and filed a statement of defence.

By representing Jane Doe in the SLAPP suit, Nolan says she is protecting the voices of the people SWN is trying to silence and the water, plants and animals in the Mi’kmaq District of Signigtog. A SLAPP is intended to silence public opposition. When SWN included “Jane Doe,” they attacked any woman who even spoke in favour of a protest or blockade, refusing shale gas, anyone who knows their rights and lives are being threatened and anyone who wants environmental protection laws to be enforced.” “The truth is, “Jane Doe” is all women in New Brunswick… the pensioned school teacher who signed the petition against fracking, the 10-year old girl who always felt safe at the peace camp, the woman arrested for praying, afraid that SWN will poison the land that her family has held for generations… the woman who’s already sick, she can’t afford to have her water poisoned… the news reporter on her beat.”

Nolan questions whether SWN’s injunction and lawsuit is actually legal, “It is not clear at all. Exactly what does SWN mean by launching an action against “Jane Doe”? Do they mean active protesters, all protesters, all persons in New Brunswick? Why is the province joining in to help SWN sue and place injunctions on us? The claims are so vague, why did the court grant the injunction and lawsuit in the first place?”

No representation has come forward yet to present Jane Doe’s concerns or defences, so Willi Nolan filed a defence in the New Brunswick courts, keeping her vulnerable in the lawsuit. “Until there’s satisfactory legal representation for the serious public concerns of all the unnamed people that SWN has acted against, I will be seeking justice. If necessary to resolve these matters, a counterclaim will be filed.”

Last month, Willi Nolan spoke on behalf of the Clan Mothers of the Mi’kmaki District of Signigtog. “The facts are, the lands and waters are subject to First Peoples’ authority. No true authority of the First Peoples has ever given SWN or the provincial government any mineral or water rights. Free, prior and informed consent was never given. SWN was evicted, those provincial permits are not valid.”

With doubts about the lawfulness of the “permit,” injunctions and lawsuits, Nolan says that continued protest and confrontation can be expected. “Every day, I pray that the attacks this fracking company is behind stop harming our people. So many have already been traumatized by police attacksSLAPP suits and intimidation against witnesses who haven’t ever had a chance to be heard by the court.”

Willi Nolan has asked SWN to drop the SLAPP suits completely. “They should file their issues with specific people separately instead of inventing some broad conspiracy to trap people. Their lawsuit tries to make people give up their right to protest and protect their homes and our precious clean water and lands.”

WILLI_NOLAN_JANE_DOE STATEMENT_OF_DEFENCE – filed in New Brunswick court of Queen’s Bench on 26 Nov 2013

VIDEO: Jane Doe SLAPPs Back! SWN Resources new tactic: suing individual activists APTN

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