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Sulian Stone Eagle Herney

Sulian Stone Eagle Herney at the public inquiry, wearing the headdress given to him for the occasion by Caroline Marshall, widow of Donald Marshall Sr, the late Grand Chief of the Mi'Kmaq First Nation.
(Photo © Bill Lucas, Hebridean Press Service, Stornoway)

Statement of Supplementary Witness – Sulian Stone Eagle Herney

To: Public Inquiry on the Proposed Harris Superquarry
From: Sulian Stone Eagle Herney, Mi'Kmaq First Nations, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Greetings Brother and Sisters from the Mi'Kmaq territory to your territory.

As an Indigenous person of North America whose Grandfathers met your Grandfathers on their arrival to my territory several hundred years ago, we, the Mi'Kmaq First Nations have endured many trials and tribulations that were caused by the two Nations coming together.

In the history of the Mi'Kmaq First Nation we have never been defeated in war. We never ceded our aboriginal rights that were handed down to us by the Creator.

Prior to the arrival of the visitors to our shores, we, the Mi'Kmaq First Nation, had our own traditional form of government, laws and education that was totally different from the laws that were imposed upon us by the visitors to our territory.

Our philosophy and spirituality has always been one where man was not dominant over the creation of other life forms, which we shared this territory with. It was always our belief and still is our belief that the Creator had placed the Mi'Kmaq people as caretakers of Mother Earth. Somewhere in the past hundreds of years the majority of the Indigenous people, perhaps because of the influence of the non-natives to our territory, became parasites of Mother Earth, thus destroying her natural bounty.

It is with the resurrection of our traditional values and codes of conduct that our elders reintroduced to this generation, that reawakened the true Mi'Kmaq Spirit and spiritual connection to Mother Earth and the Creator. We, in Mi'Kmaq territory continue on a daily basis, to create solidarity with other Nations in N. America. We continue to create unity among all First Nations people with the common believe that the true philosophy of our grandfathers is the answer to save or to slow down the environmental destruction that is plaguing all of mankind.

It is my firm belief, that we, of this generation have no hope in solving the environmental deterioration that is ongoing as we speak. However, I also have firm convictions that we of this generation, may be able to slow down the destruction of our Mother Earth enough so that the next generation that will be replacing our leaders will find the solutions and the cure for Mother Earth.

If we fail to do so Mother Earth will cleanse herself of the offending organism that is killing her. This is our teachings. The destruction of any mountain, river or forest is horrifying to all of us whether it be the Hebrides in Scotland, the Shetland Islands or an oil spill in Alaska or the destruction of the Sacred Mountain in Nova Scotia. It is no longer tolerable to pretend or ignore these assaults. Your mountain, your shorelines your rivers and your air are just as much mine and my grandchildrens as ours is yours. To say that I am concerned about the proposed destruction in your territory, is to say that I am concerned about the destruction here in North America.

It is my duty and my responsibility to the Creator and all life that I must get involved, with or without your blessings. Coming from a Tradition such as I come from it is customary among our people, to speak from the heart. It is customary that we place faith in the Creator to give us words of wisdom. It has never been my practice nor will it ever be, to prepare a written text to be delivered to any committee, forum or audience. I have found this practice to have served me well for an number of years now and I have in my time had the privilege or misfortune to speak to delegates to as high an office as Ministers of the Canadian government to citizens of Canada, United States and Sweden.

I have never been able to shed a tear on cue. However, I have shed tears because of honesty. If I fail your criteria in being unable to present a written text more than what is here, I do apologize. But I also guarantee you, my belief instills me to deliver and my testimony will not let you down. For it is my firm conviction that there is a divine hand that guides me.

Once again I sincerely hope I am able to meet your requirements and that you are able to accept my witness. If not I gratefully thank you for your consideration and if I do indeed have the honour of being your guest, I will be grateful and honoured to assist in your battle to protect Mother Earth. For if I can assist you in your battle for the protection of land which should be shown reverence because the work of the Creator is sacred, then I am assisting my grandchildren who must take over my position once I have entered the Spirit World.