Activist speaks at Esperanza Center on hazards of natural gas drilling
By Landon Penn
Oil companies’ practice of fracking can harm nature and people, an environmental activist and proponent of American Indian rights said Oct. 3 at Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.
Nina Wilson, co-founder of Idle No More, is from the Treaty Ford Territory in southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada. She is a member of the Nakota and Cree tribes. She became involved in the anti-fracking movement after noticing the deterioration of water quality on her reservation.
Fracking, which is increasingly used in Texas, drills deep into shale rock layers to remove natural gas. Wilson discussed the possible long-term effects it can have on not only her own people, but anybody living near a fracking site. Wilson said she worries cancer could result from fracking, but also said no such cases have been reported. She said in some areas of her reservation the drinking water is discolored and even comes out of the faucet in clumps.
Wilson’s purpose was to bring awareness to the rising practice of fracking near San Antonio, as well as the environmental disasters that could follow.
Before Wilson’s speech, Frankie Orona performed a cleansing ritual on some audience members. He burned sage in a bowl and waved the smoke over the person with an eagle’s feather. Orona, a member of the Bordo and Comecudo tribes, said this is done because “we want good things to happen to you while you’re here.”
More than 50 people attended the speech.
“When we lose our connection with mother earth, what happens to our children?” Wilson said, referring to the “abuse” of the land by oil companies.