“It is my hope that we can make a difference for Granville Lake for the future”
On August 2nd, David Bighetty, along with family and community members, completed their 1000km walk and arrived in Winnipeg, for a rally and talk at the Legislative building. Bighetty spoke about his displaced community of Granville Lake, as well as the problems that have resulted. He called on all those able to join him to do so in raising awareness and pushing for momentum for his displaced community. Most importantly, he called on all First Nations people to join him in calling for justice and raising awareness for displaced communities.
Bighetty’s community of Granville Lake was displaced in 2003 due to unsafe sewage and water systems that left many community members sick. Since being relocated to Leaf Rapids in 2003, a whole generation of children has grown up without knowing their original home. Bighetty has been walking from Leaf Rapids to Winnipeg to raise awareness not only for mismanagement of these failed sewage and water systems, but also for the social repercussions that resulted from this forced relocation. There has been an increase in criminal activity, suicide, alcoholism, and community members don’t have access to traditional forms of hunting, fishing, and trapping. Signed monetary compensation agreements have fallen short, as money is unaccounted for.
The team at Wa Ni Ska Tan went out to help David spread his message, through many trips to Granville, documenting the story of Granville Lake through David’s eyes. The journey he and other concerned citizens took brought them to a successful event at the Legislative building, however much of the successes were seen on the journey itself. People along Highway 6 provided support through gas money, food, and the goodness of their hearts. The message was spread along Highway 6 throughout the month long journey, and people across Manitoba learned more about the struggles of Granville Lake and other displaced communities. The month long journey was successful in lobbying support and raising awareness for displaced communities.