The tree of life from last years Sun Dance near Lillooet was still standing when I arrived June 30th this year. That afternoon some 40 men shared turns swinging an axe to bring it down. The colorful prayer flags had not even faded, but a year had past in the land where HARPER HAS NO AUTHORITY and it was time for new ones. After selection of the right tree from deep in the forest it was also brought down with shared axe blows and ropes, then carried to the center of the Arbour where it soon was to be erected. Before it went up some 25 women tied on the flags that will maintain the space for the next year ahead.

We witnessed 105 F degree heat, a gentle rain, the almost full moon setting at the same time as the sun was rising over the mountains of the valley we were in. Eagles, bears, hawks, raven and some horses mingled around and among the camp. One of the dancers was a young Japanese man who had saved all year for his return airfare to attend the event. He had also danced near Miracle Beach a couple of years ago as well as last year in the valley of the fountain. Others had come from California, New Mexico, Yukon, North Vancouver Island and far off lands to experience this gathering. It’s interesting to ponder: just what is it that draws folks from many nations and all walks of life to these kinds of events?
The kitchen of course was one of the most active places where many in attendance put in their time preparing food and doing clean up for the masses. We were spared the smoke from the burning of BC fires but we maintained our own with constant smudging throughout the event. Sweat lodges were available as the fire keepers maintained them. As the sun began to fade in the cool of the evenings the Chief of the event took the time with his wife to visit each campsite and share his humor and wisdom with all.
The open invitation Sun-dance was July 2nd to 5th and those 200 attending did not bring nor use alcohol or drugs during the event. Food was provided free as well as camping space with port-a- potties. It was a well organized, peaceful, well fed, and loving event.
My main purpose in attending was to support my daughter’s husband, as he was one of the dancers. As the drums and songs began I was able to pick him out of the crowd of dancers. He knew I was in the arbor supporting him. Dr. Lee Brown had written in an email last year that “when going to Sun-dance the 3 most important things to remember are: focus, focus, and focus.” So my plan of action was to do just that, and I found a place on the new tree of life upon which I could focus my attention. It was a small piece of green cloth that someone had tied to one of the dancers rope tethers. I maintained my focus on that bit of cloth for the whole event; well, at least until my son-in-law unwound his tether rope from the tree as that was when I realized that the green cloth was attached to his rope out of the 30 that were available. I smiled to myself at the knowledge of the connection. Of course; these sorts of coincidences happen often during the gatherings. Intuitive thought and actions are the main course  as we are all one!
I had the honor and privilege of meeting, sharing time and space, with a 75 year old female Elder of the Bear Clan. When she danced with the bear dancers who were in the sun’s heat under bear skin/heads, she was in full buckskin regalia with cedar bark hat all of which she had made herself. It was a sight to behold this Elder Woman being with the young bears dancing around the tree of life. Later she shared with me that she had told the Truth and Reconciliation people she had nothing to say to them. Although, she indeed did have lots to say about her time living as a stolen child in a Roman Catholic run Indian residential school. She spoke of sexual abuse by nuns to girl children, the cremation of babies, pregnant nuns, as well the burial of infants born in the fields surrounding the school; all witnessed by some of the First Nations children held captive. Some stolen children never were given back to their parents, but were adopted out to White Families…now her life mission as an Elder is to awaken the spirit in the youth of today to claim who they are, and to be proud of being a human, and encourage them to always speak truth…as indeed the truth sets us free. Notice lately that even the Pope of the Catholic church is talking about the truth of global warming created by the 1% and how it is now necessary that we honor the mother planet (something First Nations story telling have been saying for over 5000 years). In his ignorance he has forgotten about the truth and walking with our sisters in honesty and full historic disclosure. It is now time for the 99% to step forward and be the leaders in global environmental sustainability, rather than let the corporations use the concept as a selling logo…Monsanto water melon, apples, and other foods that produce seeds of unnatural species are indeed a violation of our Mother Planet earth…much like the child abuse of the caretakers in residential schools…they need to be brought to task. The truth is not about money it is about love and caring for each other and the planet that sustains our very lives.
The Sun-dance gatherings locations and times are being spread by word of mouth and face book. Ask around if you are interested in participating…there is one soon on Vancouver Island in the Comox area.
As well, WALKING WITH OUT SISTERS will only be at the Comox Reservation the first week of August and all are invited to witness this painful awareness of the reality in which we live today regarding the way men are continuing to treat women. It is time to stop the violence and teach the boys to be nice. Even if Harper will not recognize Walking With Our Sisters, each of us can, and in doing so we become leaders in our neighborhoods as we share the experience with others.
These dances, stories and walks are the kind of behavior that will oust Harper from his roost and we indeed will have a new beginning in the gathering of the tribes {we are all one people} with one purpose: To nourish and protect the very life blood MOTHER EARTH we walk upon. Honor the women, honor the planet, stop the desecration of the resources and conserve the water.

Grab the talking stick and speak your peace.
All my relations. Elder: Len Walker, Deep Bay BC

The remainder of this PMP follows the content requirements in Section 58 of the Integrated Pest Management Regulations and described in the draft guidance document for the preparation of a Pest Management Plan recently released by the BC Ministry of Environment (MoE 2010).B. IDENTIFYING INFORMATION B.1 Plan AreaThe PMP plan area encompasses the railway right-of-way owned by the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) and operated by Southern Railway of Vancouver Island Limited (SVI), including the 225 km-long Victoria Subdivision, the 5 km-long Wellcox Spur, and associated yards, shops and other facilities (Figure B-1).

The typical ROW averages approximately 30 m (100 ft) in width. The vegetation to be managed within the ROW has been separated into four distinct vegetation treatment zones (Figure B-2):
1. Zone A is limited to the tie area of the ballast section. This zone has a total width of 8 ft (2.4 m) (4 ft on either side of the centerline).
2. Zone B is the ballast section beyond the tie area to the ballast shoulder having a typical width extending 4 ft (1.2 m) on either side of Zone A.
3. Zone C is the ROW from the edge of the ballast shoulder to the maximum reach of the brush cutter, approximately 32 ft (9.8 m) from centre of track or 22 ft. (6.7 m) beyond the edge of Zone A.
4. Zone D is the remainder of the ROW from the outer edge of Zone C to the outer edge of the ROW property, a distance averaging approximately 18 ft (5.5 m) depending on the total width of the ROW.
B.2 Scope and Term of the Plan
This plan is applicable to the lands operated by SVI on Vancouver Island.
The proposed term of this PMP is for a five year period from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2016.”

Watershed Sentinel covered this issue well in 2006. But I suspect that regardless of policy, little has changed in the use of Roundup.