On this page you will find posters drawn by youth at Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN). Here you will also find descriptions of the posters, hearing from these Grade 10-12s about how the Churchill River Diversion and Hydro has affected their lives. These posters were collected by their teacher Alyssa Maunula as part of their science course at NCN.
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Grade 11 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationPrior to Manitoba Hydro development the community and water surrounding NCN looked very beautiful. The fish were healthy, the water was clear, and many families had gardens down by the river.
On my poster I have included many environmental issues that are now impacting NCN and surrounding communities. I have drawn debris in the water, erosion of the shoreline, a generating station, and transmission lines running through the bush. Hydro development in the north has been operating and destroying the land for a very long time. Watching the way Manitoba Hydro works with communities you get to see how greedy and careless they are towards the people and the land. Grade 12 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationIt looked much nicer before the flooding, there were beaches and gardens all over the shorelines. On my poster I included the Missi Falls control structure with logs, rocks, and sticks polluting the water. Our water is brown. Some people don’t fish anymore. The water is so bad that we don’t drink it.
They are polluting the water in the north because they do not have to live directly with the environmental consequences. Manitoba Hydro should stop playing with buttons. They should stop trying to offer money to our people because they know what they are doing is wrong.
On my poster I have included many environmental issues that are now impacting NCN and surrounding communities. I have drawn debris in the water, erosion of the shoreline, a generating station, and transmission lines running through the bush. Hydro development in the north has been operating and destroying the land for a very long time. Watching the way Manitoba Hydro works with communities you get to see how greedy and careless they are towards the people and the land. Grade 10 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationCommunities drink the water in our lakes. We need water for almost everything. There have been times where I have felt sick from drinking the water that we clean ourselves with. The pollution in the water hurts us.
In the spring and summer I like to go down to the bank from my house to fish, swim, or just walk along the shoreline. Sometimes I can’t because of the flooding. The algae, pollution, and chemicals along the shore make me sad because this is our land and our future is in danger.
There are so many dams already built and it could happen again and they just want to keep building and expanding, making more money while we are losing homes and people’s lives are in danger.
We need to be heard and listened to. Grade 10 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationOn my poster I have shown how the rushing and rising waters cause erosion and debris to fall into the water. I have also included transmission lines and the space they clear cut for these power lines.
It saddens me to know that hydro development destroyed mine and my ancestors land and nature. The fact that there was no consultation process during the Churchill River Diversion is very selfish. My parents, grandparents, and many ancestors were connected with the land and nature and for that to be just washed away (literally) by an act that they weren’t even part of or considered is terrible. Grade 10 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationI have noticed every year for as long as I can remember the lake changing levels, going high and low, and the water being polluted with garbage and waste. The lake was clear at one time but it has since become green and brown and dirty. This pollution has had a direct impact on the fish populations. When I was a kid I would catch big jackfish and overtime they have become smaller and less common. Sometimes I have gone an entire summer without catching a fish. This is because the pollution is killing the aquatic life and the water itself. Grade 11 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationWater pollution and environmental issues have been in my life since I was born. I grew up thinking the brownish green water was normal for lakes, river. Until I saw how clear water was when my grandpa took me swimming, it was pure and clear. I’ve never seen such clear water before, but that was the only time I’ve seen it. I never understood why my mom told me not to drink the water here in Nelson House. I just thought of it like any normal water. One day I saw someone pouring gas/oil into the water and it made me feel dirty, poisoned you can say.
I came into this world when people where destroying it, now as I grow up this is only coming to my attention and knowledge. It saddens me, but if the government had ever cared before about our feelings, our culture, our land, our people then they wouldn’t have caused all this destruction in the first place. They wouldn’t have taken our children away to teach them our way of life was evil, and to feed us lies, promises about peace, and treaties that they break themselves.Grade 12 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationManitoba Hydro has ruined the northern land and waters. The water isn’t good to drink in most communities due to the flooding, erosion, and pollution. The chemicals in the water cause skin rashes when showering and the kids can’t go swimming anymore.
The elders tell the youth in school about when they were growing up and how nice it used to look when they were kids. The water used to look clean way before the hydroelectric dams were built, now the water looks brown and dirty. The elders cry while speaking because everything isn’t how it use to look and the land and waters are ruined.
The lake isn’t good to go fishing as the fish are polluted and trap lines have been flooded. The youth aren’t going to learn the traditional ways the elders learned because they can’t go out and do what they use to due the pollution. Grade 11 Student Nisichawayasihk Cree NationThe water always wasn’t this murky before Manitoba Hydro came to destroy the environment. The lake was once clear and you were able to walk across on foot. Now with erosion and flooding you can’t even see the ground amongst the ground-lay trees and logs that flow through the river consistently. This debris increases the damage to the wildlife but also to the fishing industry.
On my poster your able to see erosion and broken trees, logs flowing in a river, poisonous gas in the air and water. Destruction of natural resources is disgusting and money-hungry. In my opinion, if they continue down this path we are going to be the ones directly at risk instead of the animals and wildlife.