I attended a conference in Thompson last week with people from several First Nations who are working to start recycling and waste management programs in their communities.
There was so much information about what can be recycled, how to do it and who to contact. I wasn’t sure anyone would have energy left for my presentation of our story at 3:20.
I had 15 minutes which didn’t seem like enough for 25 years!
It went well as many of the things described during the day are part of our story. I had more time because Solomon from St. Theresa Point hadn’t arrived yet. It was still a 12 hour journey by ice road.
I met Solomon that evening. He is a 74 year old gentleman who is responsible for removing the ‘end of life vehicles’ or ELV’s from his community.
His presentation the next morning began with a CTV news clip. There were 5,000 old vehicles in the community when it began. They gathered the vehicles, trained people to remove the toxics (oil, antifreeze, batteries and gasoline) and purchased a machine to crush them for backhaul on the winter road.
Solomon told the story. He had worked in a variety of jobs in Manitoba. When he was in his community he thought ‘Somebody needs to clean up.’
“Then I realized I was somebody!”
That was the beginning. He is very proud of his 13 employees, of his clean community and that revenue from the old vehicles allows him to upgrade his equipment and contribute to other community needs.
Solomon is right. Everyone is the ‘somebody’ who can make a difference for the environment and our communities.