Land & Water
These lands are the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis.
Refill is located in current day Winnipeg, which is on Treaty 1 Territory.
Treaty 1 was signed by the following seven nations in 1871:
- Baaskaandibewi-ziibiing (Brokenhead)
- Zaagiing (Sagkeeng)
- Gaa-ginooshkodeyaag (Long Plain)
- Oshki-ishkonigan (Peguis)
- Okwewanashko-ziibiing (Roseau River)
- Gaa-wiikwedaawangaag (Sandy Bay)
- Gaa-biskigamaag (Swan Lake)
This is unceded (meaning no treaty was signed) Dakota Territory, and home to the Red River Michif (Métis) Nation.
This does nothing but seemingly salt an open wound, but it is important to note that during this time of climate crisis and long before, Indigenous people and First Nations communities have been protecting the land and water from the exploitive ways of colonialism. Much of the field of environmentalism has caused harm in pushing Indigenous People out of the narrative and the spaces. At Refill we are dedicating ourselves to holding space for Indigenous activists and organizations, especially youth. When it’s okay to have our space open to people we would love to support you with access to an accessible space to organize.
Refill would like to acknowledge that our water comes from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which is an Ojibwa or Ontario Saulteaux First Nation, located on Treaty 3 Territory. We would like to acknowledge the harm that was caused when the aqueduct was built over an old native burial ground beginning in 1912. Shoal Lake 40 First Nation has been protecting and preserving water they do not drink since the aqueduct, which carries clean lake water directly into Winnipeg, was finished in 1919.
UPDATE: Shoal Lake finally can turn on a tap and have clean drinking water, as much as this is a celebration can I also mention how shameful it is that it is taking this long to get clean tap water to First Nations communities.
There are currently 51 long term water advisories for First Nations communities, if you are looking for the most updated info here is what we found.
Additionally, it is extremely important that we mention where the “clean and green” hydroelectric energy is from is located across Treaty 1, Treaty 2, Treaty 3, Treaty 4, and Treaty 5.
More specifically, 70% of Manitoba’s energy comes from Nelson River First Nation, located on Treaty 5. This green energy alternative is not without its impact, which is seen in the loss of life and land. The impacts are many, and its important that we know our “sustainable” electricity that make many feel good, negatively affect many Northern Manitoba Indigenous people and communities.
Here is an exceptional resource you too should get to know to stay up to date.
A personal note from me, Marisa: Solving the climate crisis does not happen in a vacuum, decisions need to be made from the bottom up, as we all know the benefits never trickle all the way down.