♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Water is the gift of life.
Nothing in this world can live without water.
As women, we have a special relationship with water, as we, too, are life-givers, and for nine months, we carry our children beneath our heart in water.
-What we do to the Earth today are going to affect our children five generations down the road.
So, if we poison the water, the land, and everything like that, then there'll be nothing for the future generations of children.
We are all part of something.
♪♪ -I have a son.
His future is important to me.
I want him to grow up the way that I grew up.
I want him to be able to do the things that I did without having to worry about swimming in water that has chemicals in it.
-He's a fighter, a baby fighter.
-We try to live in harmony with our Mother Earth.
We try to live together with everybody here.
Everything -- Everything has a spirit, the animals, the water, the trees, and if one of those elements are gone, it'll all fall down.
There will be nothing left.
-Part of our life and culture is with water, and fishing is Mi'kmaq people.
I'm teaching my grandson.
He wants to be a fisherman.
He's learning about conservation, how to preserve fish so when he grows old enough to start fishing, he'll have future generations of stock... if the water doesn't die.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -When I first heard about it, I was reading the newspaper and buying into the fact that they were saying that SWN, an energy company out of Houston, was coming to make all these jobs and all this revenue, to make all our dreams come true, and then I started doing research.
-Wherever the industry went, the complaints from the people living there were becoming more and more vocal, and there was a lot of talk, a lot of talk about people not feeling well, complaining about headaches and nosebleeds.
-I never really worried, and then I think it was about May is when I first realized that, no, this is coming here, and this is dangerous, and the impact that SWN could and will have on our area.
-Everything we hunt drinks water -- all the animals, all the moose.
Whatever they drink, if that stuff is contaminated, then our animals will be contaminated and will be full of cancer.
We don't want that.
We eat it all winter, have it all summer in our freezer.
-Wait, why are we practicing it on this?
-What they tried to say was, "Well, no, we're just exploring.
It doesn't mean we're going to take anything from it," but there's a lot of side effects that can happen just even from the exploratory process.
-They were digging holes, shot holes 15 meters down and dropping explosives in, and they would do this continuously for miles.
-One of the shot holes, they broke through the aqua filter, and the water got, like, green or orange or something like bubbling out.
-[ Speaking native language ] It's disrupting the natural flow of the aquifers underground, for one.
There's no doubt about that.
-All this talk about, "Oh, we're going to have the best regulations.
We're going to have world-class regulations," regulations don't do you a whole lot of good when aquifers become contaminated.
-These companies come in and say they're doing responsible exploration, but it takes millions of gallons of water to run one well, just to get it started.
The reason why this is so important is that if we don't stop them at this stage, at the testing stage, and they find what they're looking for, they're coming back with even bigger machines.
-We live in a place where industry pretty much runs the province.
We don't have much say as a population what the government does.
-This government gave them leases without even asking.
They didn't come to my community.
-If you look at the deep pink, that is SWN, big, big chunks of New Brunswick.
-What set me off is when I saw the sale map.
A third of the population was living inside the leased area.
So, this could directly impact one-third of New Brunswick's population.
-There was a feeling of, "Oh, this is just" -- you know, and people are saying, "You can't fight against this.
They're going to win," and I get a call, someone from the New Brunswick Environmental Network asking if our group would like to join conference calls.
So, that's when you found out that there were 30 other groups in the province with the same concerns you had.
-This would be so harmful to us.
I couldn't know what I knew and not act.
-It's a common goal.
It's water and air, land.
So, we felt we had to be a presence and just get in the way.
♪♪ ♪♪ -In the early phases of my activism, I couldn't go to the store for a quart of milk.
It would take me two hours.
I went armed with my petition, my DVDs, and my pins and signs.
So, Heaven help you if you stopped and said, "Hi, Debbie.
How's it going?"
I told you how it was going.
-We had people go to SWN headquarters in Texas and deliver letters, and we had letters being sent to the Premier of New Brunswick.
Either you're doing it through writing or you're going to do it through speaking or whatever it is that you're good at.
You have to normalize resistance.
You have to normalize it in every aspect of what you're doing.
-Bug, I love you.
I'm not your typical "burn my bra, go grab a sign and stand in front of a building" kind of mom, but I've seen so many children dying of strange illnesses that can't even be described.
How much water are you supposed to have every day?
-Hey, that's my cup.
-We have five children, one currently in Heaven, and this is part of the reason why I fight every day.
♪♪ -There's two types of trucks, the conventional work trucks, which have the geophones and the batteries in the back.
Now, the trucks we were more concerned about were the thumper trucks.
-What they would do is take a thumping truck, and they have, like, a little prong, and they put it down on the earth, and it just literally bangs down, and then it reads, like, a ultrasound to see if there's any deposits of shale gas in that area.
-We found all the equipment on 134, all the trucks where they keep the geophones, the testing trucks, and we were wondering what we should do.
♪♪ -The thumper trucks were right in here.
-Just imagine a highway, and then off that highway is a dirt road going to the right, about as wide as one lane.
After, like, 30 meters, there's a giant gravel parking lot surrounded in fence.
-This was all the spot that they tried to occupy, but we took it back.
-Me and my sisters were there at the time.
-Keep going, sir.
You can go.
-You're allowed to leave.
Thank you, sir.
[ Cheers and applause ] -That was the start of people staying there, just staying on this driveway, in the front of this driveway, and it got larger and larger.
[ All chanting ] ♪♪ -Let it be known to all that we, as Chief and council of Elsipogtog, are reclaiming all unoccupied reserve lands.
[ Cheers and applause ] -The Chief and council will be serving an eviction notice to SWN to get all their trucks out of here today.
[ Cheers and applause ] -If you love something so much, you will do anything for it.
That's where we're coming from.
It's for the love of the water.
It's for the love of our people.
We love enough to rise above all of this and to be able to push our beliefs forward.
[ Harmonica plays, dog howls ] -People just started getting together and planning that, if we're going to stay here through the nights, we need to build a camp where the people can stay that are traveling from far away and to block in where all the equipment was, where it was all fenced in, and everybody started working together for it to happen.
-There were English, French, and First Nations looking after each other and looking after the place.
It was something to see.
-I was asked to go and be a firekeeper there, and that was kind of my first involvement.
-When my son was chosen to be the sacred firekeeper, I was pretty taken aback because he's only 12.
He was too young, I felt.
-The fire was in the middle of the trail, blocking the compound.
That way, they couldn't drive their trucks out because then they'd have to run me and the fire over.
-They chose him because they were fighting for the next seven generations, and they felt that because we're fighting for the youth, he should be the firekeeper.
-And I watched the fire for seven days, but we didn't get the eighth day because my godmother wasn't feeling very good about tomorrow.
So, she told me to put out the fire and go home.
♪♪ -7:00 in the morning, that's when the raids started.
[ Indistinct talking ] -They had us blocked.
We couldn't get out this way.
We couldn't get out this way, nor we couldn't get out this way.
-I was just running around back and forth, screaming out to people to wake up, wake up, and that's when I heard guns going off.
[ Gunshots ] -I hear shots fired.
-And that's when I started screaming.
-They shot two people with rubber shotguns, those, like, orange-handled pump action things.
I saw the shells myself.
I heard the shots myself.
-The situation has definitely changed.
We have over 50 of the RCMP and Molotov cocktails are currently flying out of the woods and into the direction of the RCMP.
You're prohibited from entering, interfering, or obstructing the staging area and storage facility or obstructing traffic in relation hereto.
-And then some kids come in down the dirt road.
I don't know how they got in, but, literally, a bunch of Elsipogtog youth are coming up the road.
-I had seen a message from an elder that said they needed help, and when I got here, I went into the crowd, and I got closer and closer, and I seen a line of cops.
[ All singing in native language ] ♪♪ -All of a sudden, there were people yelling, screaming.
-I got grandkids, one coming!
-We don't need this!
-The only thing that I could think of was to pray.
So, I got down on my knees, and I prayed, and I heard one of the women behind me say, "They're coming.
-[ Chanting "Move back!"
] ♪♪ -I wasn't going anywhere.
♪♪ [ Indistinct shouting ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -After the raid happened, a lot of people were traumatized, but we are healing.
It's not going to stop us.
We're going to keep going.
-We as Anglo, Acadian, Mi'kmaq, united across Canada, North America, the world.
Elsipogtog put this on the map.
We, the People, have that power.
-It's a beautiful day.
It's a great day to be indigenous.
You look around, it's a great day to be human.
[ All singing in native language ] ♪♪ -We didn't allow that moment to squish the movement.
We kept going with support for court.
We kept going with support on the highways, where there was people still standing on the road and standing up against the police and against this company.
-[ Singing in native language ] ♪♪ [ All singing in native language ] ♪♪ -Eventually we found out that the thumper trucks were going and hiding at a place because they were trying to avoid us.
So, certain people, like myself, would go ahead and go to that location and look for the thumper trucks and say, "Okay, thumper trucks are now on their way."
Also, we would have different people that worked at gas stations let us know, "Okay, I see them going down the highway."
-The workers were being watched as they slept, as they left for coffee.
They were followed along the highways.
We had people going 24/7.
It really took a lot of work, but it took a lot of working together.
-Every time the trucks went out, somebody got in the road, and it took hours before the police arrested everybody and dragged them all away.
So, it was creating real nightmares, actually, for the industry.
-We're right here!
...tired of this, man!
-Judd, come on.
-Every day, people were waking up, and they were like, "How am I going to fight today?"
We had to be relentless.
It had to be every day.
-They're not going to stop, and neither are we.
We have to fight for this Earth because there isn't another one.
This is the only planet that we have.
-SWN, go back home.
You'll be stuck here.
No matter what we do or do to us, we are going to be here.
Listen to the beat of the Mother Earth, of the drum.
-Leave the roadway.
Leave the roadway.
-The cops and the SWN security were getting more violent towards our people.
People were getting ran over.
People were punched around, and it was escalating.
-All at once, somebody threw tires across the road and then lit them on fire.
♪♪ ♪♪ -As you can see, we're here on the Highway 11, Richibucto, blocking this highway because we don't want SWN to continue their work.
They're pulling out all the stops to stop us from stopping them.
You know what I mean?
We're taking it there right now.
-People are angry.
People are hurt.
We've tried everything, and the strong arm that the police is giving us, it's just gotten out of control.
-We had a common enemy to defeat, and that's what our goal was, and we all strived towards that.
We had to be vigilant.
-They still had 25 kilometers to cover, and then all of a sudden, mysteriously, at 11:00 in the morning, they just turned their trucks around.
A few hours later, we found out they were "done," their exploratory program, and they'd like to thank us New Brunswickers for our cooperation and support.
I think someone was a little sarcastic when they wrote that.
[ Laughs ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -New Brunswick right now is fighting their provincial election on the issue of fracking.
David Alward, with the Conservatives, has said, "You know what?
Let's go with this full bore.
Let's do fracking."
♪♪ -There are people very concerned about, will this pollute the water resources, what will this do, and that's why the Liberal leader said that his party would have a moratorium if he was elected.
♪♪ -Seems to me, we had a referendum and election at the same time, you know, when David Alward was saying, "Say yes to shale," and then people spoke up, and, you know, he's out.
♪♪ -Our government has put a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until we fully understand the risks to our water, our environment, and our health.
♪♪ -You take a look at what happened out here, from this little, isolated community that's in the middle of the woods, and the stance that we all made against a multi-million dollar company that's reverberated all over the globe.
-For us to stand up as a community, as one people, and tell them, "We're done.
We don't want you here," and they listened, that made me feel great.
-When you give your love and you give it all your best, this is the results that you get.
-But you have to keep acting.
If they lift the moratorium tomorrow, we're going to be on the picket lines again the next day.
-And the fight will continue on.
We'll fight with the government.
We'll fight with the people nearby just to make sure that the right of the People is being preserved.
-It's not up to them what's going to happen in our land.
It's up to us.
We're the landholders.
We are the warriors.
We are the protectors.
So, we did our job.
♪♪ -[ Rapping ] ♪ Contact, deal with conflict, I'm a disaster ♪ ♪ Fight for clean water, now that's a better rapper ♪ ♪ Red-blood, redskin, highly forsaken ♪ ♪ You talk and I walk, that's the difference ♪ ♪ I put my people on my back, got whole Nation knowing ♪ ♪ They're the reason that I rap ♪ ♪ Tell me what you rappin' for, if you ain't in it for change ♪ ♪ Then don't break about the score ♪ ♪ Ain't no reason for you to ever go tour ♪ ♪ If you rap like Little B and talk the folklore ♪ ♪ Better stuff is still breathin' ♪ ♪ Redskin with the battle cry ♪ ♪ Here for every season, chief ♪ ♪ Hell no, angel star ♪ ♪ No spangled, never had no angles as bonds ♪ ♪ And fans faithful ♪ ♪ ♪ It's always family over everything ♪ ♪ Family is the motivation in my pain medicine ♪ ♪ Never afraid to go and get it in ♪ ♪ Never been a lame, and a lame is what I've never been ♪ ♪ I do this for my dead relatives ♪ ♪ And every warrior stuck in on a land settlement ♪ ♪ We hope you understand the piece that isn't workin' ♪ ♪ Is a proud native and never mistaken for a token ♪ ♪ And if you're looking for a problem ♪ ♪ Then I think you might have found him ♪ ♪ I'mma always stand up and let them know I am astounding ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪