Islands well-represented at protest

  • Oct. 26, 2012 6:00 p.m.

Haida Gwaii was well-represented at the “Defend Our Coast” protest in Victoria.Michaela McGuire, the young woman behind the Anti-Enbridge photo campaign reported in the Observer this summer, attended the rally and said she saw at least eight people she knew from Haida Gwaii. Around five or six thousand people gathered on the steps of the legislature on October 22, she said. The protest against tar sand pipelines and tankers was one of 76 across BC according to the Defend Our Coast website.Ms McGuire attended the protest with her 88-year-old grandmother and described the day as “positive, serious” and “electrifying.” “To see that many people yell ‘yes’ when asked if they would lie down in front of a bulldozer to stop the construction of the pipelines was pretty awesome,” she said, and added that she overheard people saying they had pulled their children out of school and missed work, or school, to attend the event.The cause is personal to Ms. McGuire, who attributes a boat trip through Gwaii Haanas for reestablishing her connection to the land, the ocean, and herself as person of mixed ancestry.”Over the past few years I’ve really begun to discover that being Haida is a big part of who I am,”she said. “If Enbridge’s pipeline was approved I wouldn’t be able to continue on my path to self-discovery, it would be like going backwards in time. I wouldn’t get to introduce my niece and nephews to the place I love, I want to protect it for them, for me, and for everyone else. I will do whatever it takes to protect my home.”