Valerie’s Voice in La Ronge

It’s hard to keep up with news from Northlands College these days in this Year of Transformation.

All kinds of changes coming down the pike; but some several long-term staff leaving the fold.

We reported figures showing the college was down 57 percent in enrollment over the past 10 years, so maybe they’re making an effort to catch up.

I’m always a little, or more, concerned when change happens fast. Maybe we’ll see what folks in the communities have to say. They’ve made a lot of changes and decisions before the community consultations – a bit of cart before the horse, maybe? Hopefully they turn out at the upcoming community engagements and have their say on what they want to see happening with the college. They’re beginning in La Ronge May 4.

The town of La Ronge is also making changes, or changes are forecast for the Town. I tried to talk with the Administrator, but he was not receptive.

Wanted me to send him questions in an email before talking with me. For starters, I have never done email interviews and don’t intend to start now, at least, not with someone residing in the same community, where I would easily walk over to talk.

The other point, is, not having really engaged with the Town since the La Ronge Northerner closed in 2015, I’m not particularly up on what’s happening; thus, the reason for the visit with the Administrator. Also, I don’t have any idea what questions I would have to ask him. A catch 22 situation, I guess.

I know I did a survey some time ago regarding changes in the Town and was distressed by what I saw at the proposed options.

I would love to see this quick and intense a response or approach to protecting the land, particularly the muskeg/peat in our area.

Over the past two years, I’ve learned more about the vital importance of peat, the thousands of years it took to be here, the many benefits it provides, and it’s hard to get people interested.

The clearcutting we’re seeing all around us is nothing short of heartbreaking.

For Peat Sake: Protecting our Northern Saskatchewan Muskegs is a volunteer group of people committed to raising awareness and educating people on the importance of keeping it in the ground and protecting it.

Capitalism is bent on continuing its path to total destruction of our environment and planet.

I remember learning a song called, “I wish my eyes hadn’t been opened,” and sometimes I feel that more and more. But, I also know I can’t bury my head in the sand.

I was quite young when I wanted to demonstrate about something on Parliament Hill. I grew up in Ottawa and my Dad worked in National Defence.

My mother was against my request, but my Dad, who was a veteran of both World Wars, thought for a moment and said, to my mother, “I think we should support her, because her way may work. Ours certainly hasn’t.”

At another time, I was getting ready to go to Remembrance Day events at the national cenotaph and I noticed my Dad wasn’t ready to go anywhere.

When I asked him why he wasn’t ready, he said he didn’t go. He said, “The War is over, it’s time to build something new.”

Although he died when I was very young, I’m so grateful to have had him for a father and for his sharing of his caring and wisdom with me.

Making the same decisions over and over and expecting something different is an exercise in stupidity, I’ve heard.

I don’t think our home, Mother Earth, can withstand much more degradation. And I totally believe our children, grandchildren and future generations deserve much better than they are getting so far.

I admire and support the people standing up trying to protect the health of our land, water, air, trees, life.

I hope there’s still time to “build something new” and that we get going with it in earnest. We’re running out of time!