Onzaam then created a Facebook group - Protect Our Manoomin. We began posting numerous links to articles, data, and general information. Others joined the group by which our knowledge base expanded. Although Onzaam and I have approached this issue from an Anishinaabe perspective, our group isn't exclusively Anishinaabe. We have non-Anishinaabe and non-Native members who share the same vision - protect our manoomin.
One of the things I was inspired by were the events in the Middle East - how activists used social networking sites to connect with each other, get organized, and let the world know what was happening.
So I began to integrate some of those ideas into our group. What better way to establish and maintain a grassroots movement than by using the tools that were available to us on the Net.
The issue of manoomin strikes a deep chord. A deus ex machina isn't simply going to appear to save our manoomin. And Governor Dayton certainly isn't going to fill that role. Should Dayton veto the Wild Rice Standard bill when it reaches his desk, the battle is far from over. The mining companies like Polymet and Franconia aren't going to go away. The legislators who back them - especially those from the Iron Range - aren't going to back away. This is the Wiidigoo - albeit a modern one - that we face. This Wiidigoo doesn't consume our flesh; rather it consumes the flesh of Omizakamigokwe (Mother Earth). And in doing so, it pollutes and poisons the environment in which the plants, animals, and fish live.
In the creation, Gichi-Manidoo created the Four Orders of Life - the Earth, plant-beings, animal-beings, and human beings. Together, we were to live together, learn from each other, and help one another. By doing do, there would be harmony and balance.
But the Wiidigoo that we face knows nothing about harmony and balance. Oddly, it is the manoomin that stands in the way of the Wiidigoo who wants to rape and plunder the earth. Once the sulfide standard is changed from 10 mg/l to 50 mg/l, the Wiidigoo will begin its pillage of the north country. Should the standard not change, the Wiidigoo will find another way to satisfy its greed.
For many of us, it is a sacred duty and responsibility to defend and protect this plant that was given to us. Hopefully, this blog will elicit support in our efforts to protect our manoomin
Mii sa go