Listen to what the kids tell you

Every once in a while you hear someone speak and immediately know you are being given a gift of wisdom. That is what I feel when I hear Athabasca Chipewyan Nation citizen Mike Mercred speak about the Keystone XL pipeline. I wrote some excepts from what he said below.

Athabasca Chipewyan Nation citizen Mike Mercredi’s public comment against the KXL pipeline. Jun 3, 2019. Indigenous Rising
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation citizen Mike Mercredi traveled from Fort Chipewyan in Alberta, Canada to submit public comment to the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Utilities Commission against the KXL pipeline.
Video courtesy of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

One of the things that I can bring from back home to state it in a way that it’s gonna affect your thinking, maybe your heart. If you have children, if you have grandchildren, if there’s kids in your life, sit with them. Watch them. Let that feeling of love you have for your own loved ones make your decision.

Don’t go on what you’re being told. Go on what you feel. I’m up here speaking on what I feel. These words are coming from my heart.

Sit with those children. Think about what it is in the future that we’re gonna have to face. Nothing to do with you, me. My time here and all this, we’re done. Our time has come and gone. The children’s time is coming up and that’s who we should be thinking about. Those kids. Their rights right now trump yours.

Their rights right now are greater than everybody else’s in this room except for the kids. That’s what this is about.

If they can’t have a world in the future where they can drink clean water, breathe fresh air, then you’ve taken that from them. Then that’s your fault. That’s my fault. And I’m willing to take that responsibility and say otherwise which is why I’m here.

I have kids. It’s their futures that I think about. Why I came all the way down to this reserve South Dakota and risking coming across the border to be here to speak.

I can I can speak on and on and on about what’s going on up north and the impacts but you guys already see it you guys already know. The knowledge is right here. You guys have the information. Just make the right choices with that and listen to your people.

Listen to what the kids tell you because the kids are twice as smart as they were in 1980.

Mike Mercredi’s public comment against the KXL pipeline. Jun 3, 2019 (excerpts)

“The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.”

Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

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