Views from the Road in Alberta

[Cross Canada Waterwalk 1998]     [Waterwalk main page]


Receiving Alberta hospitality in Calgary - by Eloise Charet
Hosting WaterWalk in Calgary - by Jack Locke
Between Banff and Calgary - by Karin Roberts

Receiving Alberta hospitality in Calgary
by Eloise Charet

posted June 30, 1998

Karin and Grigg from Winlaw [in the Slocan Valley] joined us in Canmore and were we glad to see them; boots and sleeping bags finally. A special thanks to Grigg and Deale from Earthborn [Earthborn Organics natural foods, south of Windaw] for all the treats, encouragement and love. True community people.

Kerry arrived with my children and the FlowMobile; it sure looks like a water embassy car; every body turns their heads as we drive through. I read all the saying and signatures on the car. I am so glad that my mother and sister Jacky dressed it up and got the people flowing. We certainly needed the money and truly appreciate the generosity of our valley towards the cause; Even the [Kootenay] coop [of Nelson, B.C.] sent a box of groceries for us. Thanks to the people.

Three wonderful families bedded us, stuffed us, filled us with heartwarming Alberta hospitality. From Jerry and Janet Ross of Cochrane, very active and devoted to making changes towards a healthy sustainable life; later Faye Ash and Jack Locke opened their home and hearts. They talked about the fluoride in the water in Calgary, how it is sold by Cominco in Trail [B.C.], another by-product that gets right into the bone. I went to a talk given by Dr. Nosal, who demonstrated that there are more hip fractures with fluoride water than without. Faye and Jack were running around with posters informing people that all the roadside parks in the city are sprayed and [are] therefore toxic for their children to play in.

My children joined me and we moved into Dave, Alison and Clay Good's tiny home. They have faxed everybody in in town for shoes, groceries, gas, you name it. Karin [Roberts] recieved shoes from Mountain Equipment Coop, Kerry received a pair from Gord's walking shoes.

We don't seem to get any large support. I've been trying to get our Canadian gas companies to support us, but they only give to registered organizations, not to the little people. I felt exasperated with Petro-Can, vowing never to buy fuel from them. We are awaiting news from Husky.

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Hosting WaterWalk in Calgary
by Jack Locke

June 24, 1998

Saturday June 20. Eloise & Karin attended a One World Drum Company Summer Solstice drumming recital. She was given an opportunity to address approximately 120 drumming enthusiasts to explain the importance of the WaterWalk and the need to take notice of water and to take action to protect what water we still have. The place was a-hoppin' with the sound of drums.

Sunday June 21. The Calgary WaterWalk began at 10 a.m. at Shouldice Park with 8 hearty souls (including Kerry, and Eloise's children, Oliver and Emma. A television cameraman (CFCN) caught the start. By the time the WaterWalkers arrived at Prince's Island, 10 kilometres later, they had been joined for portions of the walk by a reclining commuter cyclist, a rollerblader, and had been filmed by a TV cameraman from the A-Channel.

Most interesting event of the day had to be meeting Glenn Clap who is cycling to Halifax. He promised to do some advance P.R. for the WaterWalkers (every little bit helps.) At about 2:15 p.m., with tired legs and sweating brows, the WaterWalkers reached their destination and a water prayer/ceremony was performed at water's edge. A few bystanders joined in the event. Later that night, numerous WaterWalkers attended a Solstice ceremony and bonfire.

Tuesday June 23. Waterwalkers Eloise and Karin attended a water fluoridation fundraising breakfast at Calgary's Carriage House Inn. Dr. Miloslav Nosal, a University of Calgary biostatistician provided substantial evidence that water fluoridation actually harms people. Among other facts, he told how a 1985 study showed that Edmonton, which has been fluoridated since 1967, had a 14% higher incidence rate of hip fractures in men over 65, than Calgary men of the same age. He also told of a second 1985 study that showed that Edmontonians and Calgarians have virtually the same rate of tooth decay, even though Calgary only started water fluoridation in 1991.

Later in the day, Gord's Running Room donated a nifty pair of running shoes for Kerry (with these shoes, Kerry might get to Ottawa by July). It is this kind of generosity that proves that Canadians care about our water and are willing to share to ensure that WaterWalk is successful.

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Between Banff and Calgary
by Karin Roberts

June 20, 1998

Magick is in the air. The day we left Exshaw and travelled to the Stony Reserve, Kerry and I went ahead to look for the chief of Morley. We spoke to a research analyst of the band council and he essentially abandoned us in the band council office where I noticed an article about a woman by the name of Tina Fox who had won a YWCA Woman of Distinction award. Kerry located her phone number and I called her and told her about the WaterWalk. Ten minutes later, she joined Eloise at the 1A junction north of Morley. We stood on the road and shared stories. Eloise and Tina shared much wisdom and blessed each other on the pathway. We thanked her for doing her part to build trusting community and protect the Earth.

That night (Thursday), we stayed in Cochrane and left early in order to arrive in Calgary at the top of Nose Hill Drive by 1:30 in the afternoon. I carried the water up the hill out of Cochrane and was bombarded by heavy rain and strong winds for about an hour. As the rain subsided and the wind died down, I felt truly grateful for the opportunity to push myself through adversity and arrive intact! On two occasions, a driver stopped the car to ask me if I needed a ride. I thanked each one for their kindness and said that I'm walking for the water. It felt good to say that!

As Grigg and Kerry walked the water onward, Eloise and I drove ahead to Jack Locke's place to drop off the contents of the car. I drove back to drop Eloise off so she could carry the water into Calgary.

Jack Locke and his partner, Fay Ash, joined us and walked to the bottom of the hill where we joined the Bow River for a water weaving ceremony. As Jack and Fay wove the water, the winds again blew up and we heard thunder and saw lightening flashes. I guess the thunder beings approved of our ceremony!

Today is Saturday and we plan to attend a Solstice Drumming Circle tonight. I hope to be able to share some of my chants and will be grateful to learn the some chants of others. Tomorrow (Father's Day) at 10:00 a.m. we will walk from Shouldice Pool Area to Prince's Island along the Bow River Pathway. We expect to be joined by some elders we met this week at Many Springs on a nature walk. Also, a guy by the name of Ismael will join us with his drum and some of his drumming buddies.

We heard today that there is a big event happening in Suffield on July 1st and one of the organizers is happy to put us up and to allow Eloise the opportunity to speak.

Eloise senior and family are expected to arrive in Calgary this evening. The flow mobile is obviously a great eye-catcher and a successful fundraising tool. There's more to say but there are people waiting for me to come and visit.

[Editor's note: the "flow mobile" is a large, white Ford LTD which, for a donation of $5.00 or more, will be signed by supporters of WaterWalk as a petition on wheels traveling to Ottawa]

I hope David and Tree find a way to join us soon. There are so many great stories on the road and we need to record them.

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