Cape Breton anti-fracking success to be marked by water ceremony

People will gather on the shore of Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton, on Sunday for a Mi'kmaq water ceremony as part of the Global Day of Action on Climate Change.

M'ikmaq ceremony honours sacredness of water and coincides with the Global Day of Action on Climate Change

A Mi'kmaq water ceremony is being held Sunday at Lake Ainslie Lake in Cape Breton. (Courtesy Marilyn Ellison)

A Mi'kmaq water ceremony will be held Sunday at Lake Ainslie in Cape Breton to celebrate a decision by Inverness County two years ago to ban hydraulic fracking within its boundaries.

The ceremony is being hosted by the local chapter of the Council of Canadians and will coincide with the Global Day of Action on Climate Change.

Andrea Currie of the Council of Canadians says the ceremony will honour the lake and other sacred waters.

"We have demonstrated this in the past, but we want to continue to build our capacity in the future to protect the waters and the land that we enjoy so much here in Cape Breton," she says.

She says the ceremony must be experienced to be understood. It involves prayer, drumming and smudging.

"The pipes will be lit and smoked," she says. "This is to pay respect to the sacredness of water and how water is a source of life, and particularly for indigenous people in Unama'ki. The water is a huge part of the way of life."

The Day of Action on Climate Change is described as a global mobilization to mark the start of the Paris climate talks.

Nova Scotia banned high-volume hydraulic fracking last year.

Currie says it's hoped the water ceremony will renew the commitment of participants to continue work towards sustainable development.

The water ceremony is open to the public. It begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Trout Brook Provincial Park in Lake Ainslie.