'Water is sacred': Saskatoon river gatherings prompted by oil spill concerns

Expressing concerns about a recent oil spill, people in Saskatoon gathered Wednesday along the banks of the city's South Saskatchewan River.

Organizers intend to return to river nightly

People gathered in Saskatoon along the South Saskatchewan River to express concern about the waters of the North Saskatchewan River. Husky Energy reported a pipeline leak near the North Saskatchewan last week led to some 200,000 to 250,000 litres of oil entering the water. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

People gathered in Saskatoon along the South Saskatchewan River to express concern about the waters of the North Saskatchewan River.

Husky Energy reported a pipeline leak near the North Saskatchewan last week which led to some 200,000 to 250,000 litres of oil entering the water.

"We're just people who care," Jackie Crowe, one of the people at the gathering, said.

It was the second evening in a row where a water ceremony, organized by some Indigenous people, was held. The event was open to everyone and organizers promise to return to the river nightly, around 7 p.m. CST, to raise awareness about the importance of water.

"The water is sacred," Crowe said. "That is really missing from everything that is being talked about."

Crowe said she understands that oil is important and plays a role in people's everyday lives, but suggested looking at alternatives such as renewable energy.

"But the one resource we cannot do without, as human beings, is water," she said. "All life is dependant on water. That is the one resource we need to protect the most." 

Jackie Crowe was one of the people at the gathering by the South Saskatchewan River Wednesday. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)