Yearly Archives: 2011

For Alianna: Part 2 – A Child’s Funeral Flowers

4 July 2011 (continued from Part 1 – Well of Sorrow)

The background sound to most of the next morning is the relentless hammering and sawing to make Alianna’s coffin. Like the day before, Mira won’t eat or drink and at times blacks out. Veronica, a Peace Corps volunteer who has lived with Marc’s family for the past year, has been caring for Mira. Mira gets more upset when she’s near Alianna’s body, yet some people let her go there. I find out from Veronica later that some people said things to Mira like “its your fault your baby died.” I cannot understand why now of all times people would choose to attack a grieving mother. There does seem to be a dark side of humans that finds it easier to blame people for their misfortune, maybe to make us feel less likely it could happen to us?  This accident could have happened to anyone in the Village.  No one has a secure well, and most people leave their kids “unattended” (with the eldest child in charge).

I feel quite useless waiting, but then Marc’s wife, Jana, mentions she’d like to make a crown of flowers for Alianna. I leap at the chance to do something useful and volunteer to go pick flowers. A teen girl is sent with me to go to a nearby household with lots of flowers. I take off on my borrowed bike, thrilled to use my muscles for something. We come back loaded with flowers, and I ask what is Mira’s favourite colour. Pink. So I help Jana weave a crown from pink, yellow, & orange flowers. There are lots of flowers left, so I imagine they can be handed to people at the funeral service to hold. A fitting visual for a funeral for a sweet little girl.

Finally just before noon the funeral starts. And a friend of the family is already handing out the flowers, mostly orange and yellow ones that remind me of marigolds. I hold three, for past, present, & future. It looks so sad and lovely to see almost everyone holding the flowers, many already wilting, as fragile and ephemeral as all Life is.

I’m underwhelmed by the Service, the preacher seems to take this as an opportunity to drill in the message that this must have happened because the parents and community did not repent enough. And so better repent now. I wish he would save that for his Sunday sermons. Why not celebrate this little girl’s Life, and try to offer her family words of wisdom and love to help them heal? For example, a good time to talk about stones and glass houses.  Its another jarring moment for me… does anyone else feel this way, too, or is it just that I’m not from here?

The small coffin is carried to the above ground Cement tomb, similar to how it is done in Georgetown. One of the teachers has organized the children, and they start to sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. The savannah spins and shifts on me as tears well into my eyes. The song causes my heart and mind to ricochet back to 2009, when My Edna died. She was my Guyanese Nanny, a key member of my family, and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” was the lullaby she sang to me and my brother when we were little. My favourite lullaby. I am overwhelmed again by the pain and grief of her loss, for the woman who loved me unconditionally.  It was surreal for me to kiss her goodbye three times, when they opened the casket, the still form inside so unrecognizable as My Edna, but the softness of her skin when I kissed her forehead meant there was no mistake. Then I grieved for a parent. Here, now, the parents grieve for a child. I can barely fathom what it would be like to kiss a child goodbye.

To kiss a beautiful little girl with a crown of flowers goodbye. A hinge on the casket allows people one last look or kiss before she is put in the tomb.

Mira cannot stand as they seal the tomb with wet cement. So Marc sits with her on the ground, holding his sister. The other two sisters are close by. He murmurs to her to remember she has three other children who need her, that she cannot follow Alianna but has to stay and care for them. This brotherly love is one of my strongest memories of this sad time.

We are hurt terribly when we lose the one we Love. But Love is also the key to how we heal from the loss.

For Alianna: Part 1 – Well of Sorrow

A little girl with a crown of pink, yellow, and orange flowers haunts my unguarded moments.  She looks like she is sleeping, but there is water seeping from her nose.   Three years old, her beautiful light brown face framed by long black hair loose in the white sheet wrapped around her small body.

*** (names changed to protect identities) ***

It’s sunny on Sunday July 3, a welcome respite from the frequent rain of the Rainy Season in the North Rupununi of Guyana, S.A.  The puddles on every red-mud path glint in the noon sun, the intense light washes out the tawny greens of the savannah and deeper green of the forested hills.

My community collaborator, Dana, and I are getting ready for the men’s focus group on the Village’s environmental Club.  The consent forms are waiting, we’ve discussed the women’s focus group from the previous week, and the pots are bubbling away in the Community Centre’s makeshift kitchen.

A motorbike passes by, horn blaring, but I don’t think much of it.  Later Dana tells me it was my friend and host, Marc.  Eventually, the news filters to us, as we wait for the focus group at 2pm.  At first it sounds like one of Marc’s sisters has fallen into a water hole, then a niece…. I’m worried, but don’t know what to think.  Then we get the full story from Daniel, who has come for the focus group: Marc’s 3 year old niece, Alianna, fell into a well. Sitting on the steps of the Community Center, we get more news from people passing by.  I feel I should be doing something to help, but I’m so crippled with my burnt feet I’m not even sure how to get over to Marc’s sister’s place since my bike has been borrowed. I ask what is going on, is she being rescued?  Can we help?

Dana looks at me quizzically. “She’s dead, Julie,” she says, gently.

I’m shocked.  All this time I thought she was being rescued.  I come to understand that the parents went to church (an hour walk away) and left the children, the eldest is 13 years old. This is quite common here. It’s not clear what happened but it sounds like Alliana tried to get some water and there was a rotten plank over the well and so she fell in. It wasn’t deep but she couldn’t swim and so she drowned. Now that I know what happened I just want to get over there.  It sounds like most of the people from the village are gathering at the parents’ home.  Of course I cancel the focus group. The issues of unsecured wells and unattended children are discussed by a few people on the steps of the Community Center as I wait for the bike to come back so I can go over.  Finally Dana decides to tow me on the back of her bike. We meet Auntie Elfina on the way, with the Salara and the Malaca fruits ordered for the focus group.  I carry them over to the family’s house.  I find Marc sitting on the ground outside the house, red eyed. “I’m so sorry Marc…” I feel I have no words in the face of such a tragedy.  The family is in one room in the house together all crying. Alianna’s small body is wrapped in a white sheet, lying in the other room.  People are milling around inside and outside of the house. I tell Marc about the food for the focus group and that I would like the family have it.  A motorbike is sent to fetch it. Medex and a police officer come to take statements and investigate Alianna’s death.

There have been many times here when I’m not sure what I should do, but I know I don’t have the luxury to do nothing.  So I try to help others with their tasks.  While waiting for the other food, I suggest sharing around the Malaca fruit, I figure it offers nutrition and some hydration in this heat.  I wander around, despite the pain of my feet, to offer pieces of Malaca.  I ask if I should go to the parents, anxious not to disturb them.  I’m told to go, but am still hesitant on the threshold of that door into the room of grief.  But there are many children inside who light up, and the father accepts some, but Alianna’s mother will not take food or water, and is starting to black out sometimes.  She is too deep in her grief for the small kindness of fruit.  I wish I could somehow help.  Dana starts helping with her, and with serving the food from the cancelled focus group.  Auntie Charlotte, Marc’s mother, the child’s grandmother, talks with me a bit says her husband is vexed with the parents for leaving the children unattended.

I watch as the food is slowly distributed, since there aren’t enough plates and spoons to go around.  I’m trying to guess the “rules” for distribution, it seemed like those considered to be working get the food first, then Elders, and then the order is less clear to me.

Here, people are usually buried on their family’s land.  Alianna’s family decides to bury her at Marc’s place because it would be too difficult for her mother to see her grave every day.  They will already have enough to deal with seeing their well every day.  The Village’s tractor takes Alianna’s body and many people over to Marc’s.  Dana’s daughter Cantina wants to come with me, while the rest of her family will come the next morning for the funeral.  There is no embalming here, so people are buried within a day, with a Wake the night before.

We bike to Marc’s, and I’m not sure what to do.  There are people in groups chatting outside Marc’s house, and in the common room where family and friends gather to talk and eat.  Since only a few weeks ago, there is a giant flat screen TV powered by a generator, and many more people now come to watch DVDs.   At the other end of the room is the kitchen.  Alianna’s small body lies on a pillow to the right of the TV.  The sheet is wrapped so that anyone can open it to see Alianna’s face.

As with the Wake for a colleague’s 5 week old baby son the week before, I don’t know how to feel about the Wake.   I can feel the collective sadness and pain of everyone there.  The contrast of that with what is playing on the TV is jarring.   At the baby’s wake, there was a Christmas comedy playing, the plot: a rich family has to deal with the father not getting his Christmas bonus.  The frivolousness of this “difficulty” compared to day-to-day life in the Rupununi!

I cannot escape into busyness, there is nothing I need to Do.  I could read or write, but would still hear the TV that is now on.  So I don’t resist.  I fiddle with mosquito coils that I light off the gas stove.  There are no matches, no one can find the family’s lighter, but I have mastered the art of lighting the gas stove with the sparks off my empty lighter.  I sit on the floor with many of the other mourners, my legs outstretched, the most comfortable position for my burnt feet.  Marc puts on Wild Guyana, which seems geared towards potential ecotourists to Guyana, and then Barney.  I haven’t been subjected to Barney before, it is as saccharine as I’d feared, but does seem to promote decent values.

It feels surreal to watch TV while Alliana lies there.  Does anyone else feel this way? I wonder what Wakes were like before TVs came here.  Would people talk more?  Everyone, myself included, seems so mesmerized by the TV.  It may numb the pain and grief at the moment, but I wonder if it slows the healing process.  Gathering like this is a chance to find comfort in other people, and also to try to process what happened by talking with each other.  With the TV on, there is barely any interaction, though there’s a constellation of smaller groups far enough away to talk amongst themselves.  Many of them are drinking, too. When football is put on, I escape to the room I’ll be sleeping in. I tell Marc’s family I’m going to bed, I have a headache, very rare for me, and am tired and sick and hurting from burnt feet and abscesses.  I don’t find out until morning that you are really supposed to stay up all night for a Wake.  It’s a long time before I find sleep.  I try to write a bit on the laptop, but its hard to concentrate with the loud TV.

Then its 9:34pm and I am listening to Alliana’s heartbroken mother, Mira, cry for her dead child in the room next to me.  “Mommy, Mommy I want Alianna back, I want my Anna… don’t leave me Anna, I’ll follow behind you…” It’s horrible to be right next to such agony and not be able to do anything.  I send healing energy to her.   Eventually I fall asleep.

Continued: Part 2 – A Child’s Funeral Flowers

Welcome Home Kurtis – RALLY & RIDE for SMH

(Une version française suit le texte anglais)

Kurtis Benedetti set out from Cape Breton on 4 July, determined to bike the 2100km back home to the South March Highlands (SMH) to raise awareness about the Forest. He’s on track to reach Ottawa on Thursday. Please join us to welcome him home!!! Thurs 28 July 12:oo (noon) at the Human Rights Monument (City Hall). There will be:
– Updates on the current status of Ottawa’s Great Forest
– Kurtis will tell us about his journey
– Songs
– Information on Next Steps
– After the rally, approx 1pm: Option to bike with Kurtis for the last leg of his journey, to SMH! Approx. 20km ride.

What a great way to spend your lunch hour! And…maybe knock off work early for a bike ride to Ottawa’s Great Forest!

Detailed schedule to follow here. Please bring a sign if you can, about why this Green Gem should be protected.

See you there!

Invite your friends on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=231055003601876
More about Kurtis’ journey: http://www.emckanata.ca/20​110714/news/Kanata+man+emb​arks+on+2,100-kilometre+cy​cling+journey,+Hopes+to+ra​ise+awareness+about+concer​n+for+South+March+Highland​s

**********************

Kurtis Benedetti est parti de Cap Breton le 4 juillet, fermement décidé à pédaler les 2100km qui le séparent de chez lui, dans les Hautes terres de South March (South March Highlands), afin de sensibiliser la population au sujet de la forêt. Il arrivera à Ottawa jeudi. SVP joignez-vous à nous pour l’accueillir!!

Jeudi 28 juillet à midi au Monument des droits de la personne (Hôtel de ville, coin Elgin et Lisgar). Il y aura :

-Des mises à jour sur le statut de la Grande Forêt d’Ottawa
-Kurtis nous racontera son voyage
-Des chansons
-Des informations sur les prochaines étapes
-Après le rassemblement, vers 13h (1pm) environ : il sera possible d’accompagner Kurtis, à vélo, jusqu’aux Hautes terres de South March (environ 20km)

C’est une super manière de passer votre heure de lunch! Et peut-être de quitter le travail tôt pour faire un tour en vélo aux Hautes terres de South March!

SVP, apporter une pancarte si vous pouvez, afin de souligner l’importance de protéger ce joyau vert.

Partagez cet évènement avec un grand nombre de personnes! À jeudi!

Personne contact pour les média (bilingue) : Daniel “Amikwabe” Bernard 416-876-3051, dan_bernard@rogers.com

Informations supplémentaires sur les Hautes terres de South March:

www.union-algonquin-union.com/south-march-highlands/
http://southmarch.wordpress.com/
www.ottawasgreatforest.com

raspberry jam, love, & continuity within change

two years ago on this day, my brother, his now wife, and i brought our beloved Edna to the airport.  she was going to Guyana for her elder sister’s funeral.  after many hugs – those warm, soft, enveloping hugs we’d been so lucky to have all our lives, she went through security.  we watched through glass as she walked confidently towards her gate, and out of sight.  it was the last time we saw her alive.

every summer, Edna would make raspberry jam, and give it to all of us, and friends.  Secretly, we were all hoarding our last jars of jam.  when i missed her i’d find that jar, and maybe taste a tiny bit.  So in honour of her, her generosity and kind spirit, we got the idea to get together and make raspberry jam on the bitter-sweet anniversary of those last hugs.  the first year, we put portions of Edna’s last batch in our new batch.  and every year we put a little bit of last year’s jam in the new year’s jam, and like that there is always a connection to Edna’s lovingly made jam.

of course if something went horribly wrong and all the new jam was lost, as long as there are raspberries, a lovingly made batch of raspberry jam IS a beautiful connection to Edna.  but i do like that there is the physical connection, too.  its like Kombu tea or the soup that keeps boiling on the fire or a friendship cake.   it is continuity within change.  it is the beauty of grief and the taste of healing.

puppy rescue

I only find two of four puppies when I get home at 4:30pm. I need to get some work done, but the front yard is not puppy-proof in my opinion, so instead I start searching.  The mother, Sheba, finally leads me to one, well hidden in the underbrush of the front yard plants.  But still one missing.  I keep searching, and notice that there is a small opening in the drain/trench next to the wall, at the front right corner of the cement fence.  “Hope its not there,” I think, in what seemed like a dead end old sewage canal, covered with a 2 inch think slab of concrete along its length.  It seemed unlikely since the puppy would have had to get over a few obstacles.  But they were all getting around a lot, so it is possible.

Then I hear the cries.

I can just fit my hand and then my arm up to my elbow into the opening.  Although I really don’t want to put my hand in there, no telling what nasty stuff is down there besides the puppy! 

Its damp mud, snail shells, I can feel the wall on either side.  No telling quite how far into the puppy has crawled, but he sounds close to the entrance.   I can hear him, but can’t touch him.

Unless the puppy crawls back within reach, how else to get him out?  I figure a sledgehammer could make the opening bigger so I can reach further back.

I go rouse my landlord from the breezy balcony.  He can’t think of much else.  He calls the chairman of the Guyana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals, but getting anyone to help on a Sunday afternoon in Georgetown was unlikely.  He can’t think of anyone with a Sledgehammer.

So I bend a coat hanger to see if I could touch the puppy, maybe pull him out.  Manage to scratch my arm up, but not even sure if touched the puppy.  It makes me think its like I’m doing some back-alley abortion with a coat hanger in a mucky smelly womb.  But in this case, trying to save a life.

I don’t know why the puppy won’t come within grabbing range.  Frightened? Stuck?

The puppies’ eyes are still closed (one wek old), ears seem to be, too.  I figure the only way to attract him is by smell.  hoping the puppy can move, I milk the mother so my fingers will smell of her milk.   I wait, my arm wedged into the rough crevice, muck under my fingers, sweaty, neck at an impossible angle.  I get poor Sheba back to milk her more and get in on a rag to place near entrance, hoping the smell will attract the puppy.

My Landlady brings home an iron rod to try to break open the hole more.  She and I manage to knock off some chunks, but in the end it just makes the hole smoother and less likely to cut me.  There is a rod sticking out of the wall that I manage to bash my eyebrow into.  She tells me to take care of it, but I’d rather concentrate on the task at hand.  I draw a heart with my blood on a tree while she takes a turn bashing the concrete.

I keep going back and forth, trying with the coat hanger. And keep asking my landlords about a sledgehammer.

An hour and a half later, its 6pm and getting dark., so now mosquitoes and darkness to add to the discomfort.  I’m wedged in place again.  The puppy had not been crying for a while, I’m wondering about euthanasia options, but they seem even less likely than a rescue.  Text messages are coming from a fan, the whole situation seems surreal.  Or maybe I’m just lightheaded.

He starts yelping again.  I wonder why I have to notice these things.  Life would be easier if I didn’t notice things like missing puppies.  I know his cries will haunt me if I don’t save him.  Forehead against rough stone wall, I’m pretty close to tears.  Why notice suffering and distress if I can’t help?  I think of the Beaver Pond Forest, and other times I’ve fought for things and lost.   Will this be the same?

Back inside racking my brain, power goes out.  Finally, my landlord says the neighbors might have a sledgehammer.  They do.

We get it, in a few minutes, he has managed to make the hole much bigger.

I reach in…and touch the puppy!  Very wedged in, so could not have crawled back to the entrance.   I realize they can’t backup at this age, so they can crawl into trouble and not be able to back out of it.  The small furry legs are warm and limp, no sound. I wonder if the sledgehammering crushed him.

But then there’s movement and yelping.  And slowly slowly, I manage to pull him out, like a second birth for this pup, a breach birth out of a very different womb than the one he exited the first time.

Besides some stinky muck, the puppy appears to be fine. It takes a bit to convince Mom to nurse, which the pup desperately needs.

It took two frustrating, hot, sweaty, bloody hours.  But its great to see him and his siblings all nursing off Mom.

I guess its not so bad that I notice things.

hearts in the snow

this is the hearts in the snow video, the song that sprang from the poem about our experience of stopping the cutting Machine at Beaver Pond Forest on 8 February.  it is dedicated to the beautiful, brave, wonderful people who made that circle around the Machine possible.  the first time it was sung in public was at the rally after the closing ceremony for the Sacred Fire.  the Fire burned day and night from 9 to 13 February at Queen’s Park, Toronto, for the Forest.   mid-song, two redtailed hawks soared overhead.  i’m honoured and glad they chose to join us.

today Urbandale will finish cutting down the Forest we fought so hard to protect.  this song is sad, but don’t despair, there are more songs to come, more battles to win, and our resistance is beautiful.

stop the Machine (Beaver Pond Forest 8 Feb 2011)

walk together through living forest

beautiful in pre-dawn

then into the cleared land

the giant machine terrible leggo-like

cutting blades huge yet strangely dull

like monstrous lobster claws

our human circle around

the human made Machine

a thin line of flesh and spirit

to contain a monster made of

metal wrenched out of the Earth

seizing ancient sun’s power

for fossil-fueled destruction.

we sing, try to keep joy & warmth

amid piles of tree corpses

in neatly stacked rows

trees we love

words can’t quite capture

blood memory,

voices of the land

why the heart beat knows

we must be there to protect

the Beaver Pond Forest

i stumble over words for media

just words, only words

 

as i leave, i go to the five-trunked tree

each trunk severed

no more fingers reaching for sky

i draw hearts

on the snow

on the severed trunks.

hearts on the five-trunked tree. photo credit: Chris Bisson, 8 Feb 2011

Save Beaver Pond Forest Rally at City Hall 13 January @Noon

This is a rally to demand that the City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission (NCC), or Province of Ontario step up and do their job: order Urbandale/KNL to prevent all cutting and blasting of the Beaver Pond Forest at least until spring. This is for ecological, archaeological, cultural and humane reasons. All levels of government could halt development based on new evidence that the archaeological assessment needs to be redone. But the City isn’t taking responsibility. The province isn’t taking responsibility. The NCC isn’t taking responsibility. So we are going directly to City Hall and the NCC to remind them that the greed of one company should not trump the long-term Public Good.  It is their job to make the City of Ottawa a better place to live.  For us now, and for future generations. 

We need to convince them it is better for everyone that they spare the most ecologically sensitive part of Ottawa.  They must respect the requests of the local community and Algonquin communities to do a full archeological assessment of possible medicine wheels and artifacts.

PLAN
– 12pm (noon): Assemble at Human Rights Monument at City Hall
– statements will be read, hard copies of letters and petitions delivered, songs shared.  Exact schedule TBA.

– Bring your own signs, we also have some made which will be used in a subsequent Activist Art show (first come, first serve ;-)

– Bring hardcopies of your letters to City Council and NCC.  We will ask the Mayor to come out to receive them!

– Be musical (bring instruments & noisemakers!)
– Main Message to City Hall, NCC, & Province: Take Responsibility! Do the Right Thing: Stop Urbandale from Cutting or Blasting Beaver Pond Forest
MORE INFO

Location: google maps
On the Forest: http://www.ottawasgreatforest.com/
http://www.southmarchhighlands.ca/

Details on inadequate environmental assessment & storm water management plans: http://renaud.ca/wordpress specific page

Community voices: http://the5thc.blogspot.com/
http://candle4kindness.wordpress.com/

Petitions: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Do-Not-Cut-Beaver-Pond-Forest-or-SMH/

Hitching a Ride to the Rally with Grandfather Commanda

The snow fell steadily as we assembled, Ogui duct-taping posts to the beautiful signs Stefan had created for our rally. As I tried (unsuccessfully) to figure out how to use the megaphone, a SUV pulled up and I spotted Grandfather William Commanda and his assistant, Romola. I raced over to greet them. We had not known if 97 year old Grandfather Commanda would be up for the journey over to join us.

Once people had their signs, we formed a circle, with Grandfather able to stay seated in the vehicle. Elder Albert Dumont gave a beautiful opening Blessing for our rally and march, reminding us to be mindful with every step we took that it was a step to help save the Forest. Paul Renaud then gave an impassioned speech, challenging the City of Ottawa to do the right thing and demand a new Archeological Assessment, which would halt destruction of the Forest until spring.

Then Grandfather Commanda prayed for the land (in three languages) and offered tobacco. Those of us who have worked together to save the Beaver Pond Forest over these months (and for some, these decades), were moved and grateful. In a letter to City Council, the Premiere, and others, Grandfather wrote that the Beaver Pond Forest is “[a] living temple, a place of Manitou, a special place of nature, and that precious reality also demands immediate protection and reverence.”

As the protesters marched off, all the more eager due to the cold, I went to thank Grandfather. I reached out to shake his hand. He took my hand… and didn’t let go! He held my hand and spoke to me mostly in French, looking deep in to my eyes with warmth and kindness. At first it was difficult to hear his words due to the good-natured clamour of those marching to the Urbandale Sales office. As it became quiet, only a few of us with Grandfather, I could hear and understand his words. But his message went beyond words. It went straight to my heart. It was about living a good life. More than anything, I felt his words validated my efforts. And this inspires me to continue to put my energy into helping nurture a sense of interconnectedness with each other, the land, and other species.

After Romola gently reminded him a few times that I was the Rally’s emcee, he finally released my hand, and they gave me a lift to join the rest of the group. But I would have happily listened to him for the rest of the day.

Many more powerful words, drumbeats, and songs were shared at the Urbandale Sales Office.  The crowd was eager to keep fighting, to keep our candle of hope burning bright for this Land. We each know Beaver Pond Forest has a powerful and beautiful energy that fuels and inspires our efforts to save it.

Elder Albert Dumont at 8 Jan 2011 rally. Stefan Thompson’s artwork in background.

Rough Cut: Song for the Beaver Pond Forest

This song was inspired by the South March Highlands and those fighting courageously and creatively to stop it from being clear-cut & blown-up next week.  There is something beautiful and powerful about the Forest we can’t quite explain, but it fuels our ability to work tirelessly (or despite being tired!) to save it.   And people keep coming forward to help us, as my friends Stefan, Ogui, Jessica, Michael, and Ed did to get a rough version of this song recorded before the Jan 8 rally.

Rough Cut: Beaver Pond Forest Song

So much noise out there

It can be hard to hear your own voice

So much power used against us

make ya feel you have no choice

We may each feel small

But together we stand tall

So wake up and raise your voice

Go on and make your choice

Who’s gonna fix this

If we back down

Who’s  gonna save

Our sacred ground

Its an old story

We don’t have much time

To stop the chainsaws

To stop this crime

A beautiful forest

Home to many species

Bit by bit

Cut into tiny pieces

No one paid

To take the long view

Except developers

Makin’ profits for the few

The rich play golf

While the forest crashes down

Basements get flooded

Can we turn this around?

Where is Ottawa City Hall?

Where’s the NCC?

Where is the province?

Why is it just you & me?

Why do humans use our power against life

Against life

Against life

And that is our fight

for life

that is our fight

for life

that is our fight

for life

Beaver Pond Forest

took centuries to grow

A week to destroy

This is our chance to show

That we’ve become wiser

That we fix mistakes

That we value life

That we’ve got what it takes

Will we listen to our Elders?

Which path will we choose

This is a key time

Not a moment to lose

So get up and raise your voice

Go on and make your choice

Who’s gonna fix this

If we back down

Who’s  gonna save

Our sacred ground

Vote with your dollar

picket Urbandale

prove this is the wrong way

to make a sale

Cut through the busy

You know its right

Save Beaver Pond Forest

Please join our fight!

So get up and raise your voice

Go on and make your choice

Who’s gonna fix this

If we back down

Who’s gonna save

Our sacred ground

Light  your candle for hope

Don’t give in

The truth will rise,

we can all still win

Light that candle

Don’t give in

Truth will rise,

we can all still win.