Indian Brook natives saved village water supply

SHUBENACADIE, NS (4 July 2001 ) -- At a time when the media is prattling on about "poaching" by Mi'kmaq fishers and their disregard for "conservation", Shunpiking Magazine has received quite a different story from Lena Siegers of the Christian Peacemaker Teams at Indian Brook First Nations.

Some years ago, the Robinson family of Indian Brook First Nation saved the water supply at nearby Shubenacadie village.

Marie Robinson related the events as follows to Christian Peacemaker Teams.

A farmer who operated just up the hill from the Robinsons' home expanded his dairy and began to pollute a lake which is the water supply for Shubenacadie.

Suspecting this might be the case, the Robinsons had the water tested in a university laboratory. The results showed a high level of contamination.

Marie Robinson says that when she approached the farmer with the results, "He told me I was just a little Indian and that I couldn't do anything about him. He said he was a big man in the town and no one could touch him."

The family took the results to the municipality's office. The staff refused to act on the information.

So, the family went door-to-door in Shubenacadie, showing individuals the results of the water tests. Public opinion was aroused and the municipality was forced to do its own testing. Their results showed the same high level of contamination.

As a result, the farmer was required to pay out thousands of dollars in compensation. When the problems continued, his dairy was finally closed down.

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