Mi’kmaw grandmothers oppose ‘man-camp’ that goes with massive LNG project

Mi’kmaw grandmothers and their supporters held a ceremony to oppose a proposed LNG project that some Nova Scotia chiefs support and have signed on to cater and clean the 5,000 person “man camp.”

The ceremony took place at the site of the proposed $13 billion LNG plant and work site being put forward by Calgary based Pieridae.

“We don’t want to see a lot of people that are crying for their water and their lands and their mothers and their sisters and their daughters because of what happens,” says Dorene Bernard. “We can stop this.”

The camp will house the workers who will build the project located on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia about 50 km from the nearest Mi’kmaw community.

Annie Bernard-Daisley, chief of We’koqma’q First Nation and former president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women was at the ceremony and one of the chiefs who oppose the project.

“I am completely against a camp coming to our territory of Mi’kma’ki because of the factors surrounding the camps,” she says. “It’s truth, its reality that extraction sites where camps spring up cause more violence towards our women than any other time.”

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called “man-camps” a threat to the safety of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people.

It outlined how the resource extraction industry led to violence against Indigenous women and called for industry to plan for safety.

“You can come up with every different solution, you can come up with every different precaution, but it’s not going to make a difference, there somebody who is going to be hurt, whether you’re indigenous or not it’s going to happen,” says Bernard-Daisley.

The 13 Mi’kmaw bands in Nova Scotia originally signed the deal to cater and clean the camps.

But Bernard-Daisley wasn’t chief when the deal was signed – and Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack recently suggested that fellow chiefs should renege on the partnership.

The grandmothers say community members weren’t consulted on the deal.

“We’re hoping that people will open up their eyes and see you know how long these things have been planned behind our backs, not only the Indigenous people but the people in Nova Scotia as well, and so we are hoping that people will wake up,” says Doreen Bernard.

APTN News reached out to the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs (ANSC) that is hosting a women’s only forum next week to hear the concerns of community members.

The ANSC said no one is commenting until after the forum.

The final investment decision on whether the project will go ahead is expected by the end of June.

The project will see natural transported by pipe into the ocean where ships will load and carry to ports in Europe.

Video Journalist / Halifax

Angel Moore is a proud Cree from the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. Angel grew up in Winnipeg and has a Journalism degree from the University of King’s College. She also has a degree from Dalhousie University in International Development Studies and Environmental Sustainability. Angel joined APTN News in June 2018 as the correspondent in the Halifax bureau and covers Atlantic Canada.