Who Speaks for the River? tells the true story of the collision between power and justice in the desperate final battle between the Alberta Government, Friends of the Oldman and members of the Piikani
Who Speaks for the River? tells the true story of the collision between power and justice in the desperate final battle between the Alberta Government, Friends of the Oldman and members of the Piikani First Nation surrounding the building of Alberta's Oldman River dam. Environmentalist Martha Kostuch uses the law and "Woodstock of the Environment," the largest environmental rally in Canada to stop construction of the dam. Piikani First Nation activist Milton Born With A Tooth and his group The Lonefighters, use protests, bulldozers to divert the Oldman River, and one shotgun which Milton fires at police. Those shots result in Milton facing an unfair trial, which one observer characterizes as "what Native people have faced for a century."
"My world cannot be documented on your white paper with words. Your dictionaries reveal the white society and show how whites go in circles. Words simply refer to words and are only excuses for what's real. The real world is about fresh air as medicine going into my lungs and the enjoyment of each meal as my last one."
—Milton Born With A Tooth, from a Southern Alberta Jail, while waiting for his first trial.
"Who Speaks for the River? is the riveting true story of the final bitter battle between pro-dam Alberta government and anti-dam coalition of environmentalist and some Plikani First Nation individuals. . . This is not only a true story, but an amazingly prescient one. ..
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"After years of research, Robert Girvan has organized his material in a unique manner to make a complex issue accessible. It is such a concise review of Canadian history and politics that it would be a good addition to school libraries. He writes in a warm, conversational manner - sharing his impressions of the key players whom he interviewed. He also shares his love of the natural world in his description of the prairies and mountain roads of Alberta, which he travelled to meet those players.
"Milton Born With a Tooth once said "When the right things are said in the right way, people have no choice but to feel it. This books Who Speaks for the River? does make you feel it. Enjoy!"
Robert Girvan lived in Alberta and became a lover of the land. He studied politics and philosophy at the University of Alberta, and law at the University of Victoria. Between 1992 and 2004 Robert practiced law in Toronto-eight years as a Criminal Defence lawyer, and four years as a Crown Prosecutor. Since 2008, Robert has combined writing, working as a Criminal Defence lawyer, and raising his two sons. He lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife and their children.
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