Who Speaks for the River?

“Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.”
"Much can be done by severity, more by love, but the most by justice."
Goethe, in the Conversations with Goethe
"No wonder the ruined woods I used to know don't cry for retribution! The people who have destroyed it will accomplish its revenge."
Character Ike McCaslin, in Go Down Moses, by William Faulkner

Published by Fifth House Publishing

oldman-river-dam-siteWho Speaks for the River?  tells the true story of the collision between power and justice in the desperate final battles between the Alberta Government, Friends of the Oldman River and members of the Piikani First Nation surrounding the building of Alberta’s Oldman River dam. Environmentalist Martha Kostuch uses the law and “Woodstock of the Environment,” the largest environmental rally in Canada to try to stop construction of the dam. When the Alberta government either breaks or dodges the law, Piikani First Nation activist Milton Born With A Tooth and his group The Lonefighters, use protests, bulldozers to divert the Oldman River, and one shotgun which Milton fires at police. Those shots result in Milton facing an unfair trial, which one observer characterizes as “what Native people have faced for a century.”

“I get permission from no one, except from nature and that’s the way I live it out….Nature is screaming and it is dying. Are you willing to listen? I’m willing to listen. We’re all going to die, so let’s set our priorities how we want our tombstones to read.”
-Milton Born With A Tooth, while waiting for his first trial

“The resonant tale of a Canadian cultural misunderstanding; the conflict between one man’s vision of the natural world and the more utilitarian views of the white society that opposes him.”
-Erna Paris, author of Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History

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