Stepping up: Vicki Monague leaves for Honduras
At Site 41 yesterday, Vicki Monague (left) of Beausoleil First Nation blessed water (in copper kettle) that she will be taking to Honduras. -AWARE Simcoe photo
From Vicki’s Facebook post:
Ambe Ojibwemodaa! May & June 2019, I will be joining HONDURAS: THE ROOTS OF MIGRATION, a delegation sponsored by Cross Border Network, investigating the human rights situation in Honduras.
The 17 member delegation will; hear stories of why people leave, learn how the Honduran government discourages them from leaving, learn if US AID programs aimed at deterring gang violence and migration are effective, hear how police, military and gangs partner in extortion, narco-trafficking, and corruption, see first-hand the devastation of land grabs by foreign mining, tourism, and real estate corporations, the exploitation by sweatshops, meet the inspiring social movements trying to change the conditions that drive migration and hear about their alternatives.
We are also supporting the Free Edwin Espinal Campaign. “Edwin is currently being held as a political prisoner and has been incarcerated in La Tolva maximum-security prison for thirteen months for his work as a human rights defender in Honduras.
The Spring family of Elmvale, Ontario and community have been advocating for his release since January 19, 2018. Edwin, a Honduran national, is long-time spouse of Karen Spring of Elmvale, Ontario. He and others were arrested on false charges after the illegal election of Juan Orlando Hernandez in November 2017, an election backed by the United States and Canadian governments.
People took to the streets in protest and were met with military force. Thirteen months after Edwin’s arrest, the Honduran people are still protesting the violence, repression, murders, disappearances, and the lack of rule of law and due legal process. In fact, protesters are shot in the streets with live bullets; those arrested are detained in deplorable conditions. The people have no recourse against this corrupt, illegal government, and as a result, over 11,000 have fled since December, joining the mass exodus in caravans to the US border” The Spring Family, 2019.
According to Global Witness report 2017, “Nowhere are you more likely to be killed for standing up to companies that grab land and trash the environment than in Honduras. More than 120 people have died since 2010….The victims were ordinary people who took a stand against dams, mines, logging or agriculture on their land –murdered by state forces, security guards or hired assassins. Countless others have been threatened, attacked or imprisoned.”
The people in Honduras and Latin American Countries need our support and solidarity. We must continue working towards a Global Network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples rising up to heal the effects of colonization, which manifests itself as humanitarian crises worldwide.
10 years ago, Anishinabe women from my community set up a protest camp to protect one of the world’s most pure water sources when it was threatened by a proposed landfill over a pristine aquifer. The water in the Aquifer was tested by Dr. William Shotyk of the University of Alberta, then at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, to be cleaner than the cleanest layers of arctic glacial ice 8000 years old.
It was the first movement in the history of the area where non-native people and native people worked together for a common cause and won. It is this sacred water (that myself and many others put our lives on the line for) that I will be taking to Honduras.
Since Site 41, this water has been sent all over the world- Germany, Nepal, India, China, South Africa x 2, New Zealand, and various locations in Canada and the United States. Before it is sent, we do ceremony for it, programming it with intentions of love, light, peace & healing.
I recently sat on a Water Panel with the world’s leading hydrogeologist on ground water, Dr. John Cherry. I spoke about our ceremonies for women and how the water, in its purest form, had memory. I asserted that the water carries the memory of the Earth and that when we send the water all over the world, it is to help the Earth. So we send it to places of war, incarceration, torture, to Indigenous populations, as well as to places of sacredness, temples, rivers, streams, places of worship and prayer. To my surprise, Dr, Cherry corroborated my assertions of the water having memory and holding our intentions from Anishinabe Traditional Knowledge with scientific evidence.
I will be leaving May 25 & returning on June 3, 2019. I will be carrying the Site 41, the purest water in the world, with me as a show of International Indigenous Solidarity, from Canada to Honduras. As such, a ceremony will be held prior to my leaving with the water to allow people to send their prayers for healing, love, peace & life to Honduras. The water will carry our love and our prayers for the highest possible outcomes. Date, time & location for ceremony to be posted soon. Prior to leaving, the Water will be walked in Simcoe County as part of a school water walk with over 800 students.
This is not about ME. I am not a savior or a hero. I am only doing what any person with a heart would do given the opportunity. My only intention is to carry the water from here to there in solidarity with the people of Honduras. It will be for them to define how I support them, and how I can carry the message back to Indigenous peoples here, and the water will be our guide, and our connection. For me, this is a spiritual trip rooted in peace, love, and light. I will be there with the intention of just listening, learning and supporting.
For further information on Edwin’s arrest, SCHRM’s ongoing campaign, and future events, refer to the following sites:
· Twitter: @can_hon_rights; @janet_spring
· FaceBook: SimcoeCountyHondurasRightsMonitor; Janet Spring
· Edwin Espinal Incarcerated for Human Rights Work in Honduras
RenR Presents: William Shotyk with “The Cleanest Water on Earth?”