Takaiya Blaney

“Earth is our planet, the only one we have, and we must protect it. I don’t want the planet trashed and polluted, which is why I joined We Canada. I am from the Sliammon Nation and my culture is important to me. The Northern Gateway pipeline is proposed to go through the territories of many First Nations. The pipeline would carry tar sands, the most corrosive oil, through beautiful, pristine places, destroying our culture. Our culture which we have had for thousands of years would be destroyed by this pipeline for the sake of money. I joined We Canada because WE have a chance to turn this around before it is too late. Though it’s scary because some scientists think it is already too late.”

Ta’Kaiya, 10, lives in North Vancouver and is from the Sliammon First Nation. A homeschooled student entering Grade 5 this fall 2011, Ta’kaiya particularly enjoys studying the oceans and marine life. It was her idea to write a song about an oil spill. When Ta’Kaiya and Aileen began writing “Shallow Waters,” it was to raise awareness about a proposed oil pipeline between the Alberta Tar Sands and Kitimat, BC. By the time the song was almost finished, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico suddenly happened.

Ta’Kaiya has spoken at events, festivals, and schools around BC in 2011. She spoke and sang at the Comox Earth Day festival, at the Canada Day celebration in Powell River, the Bella Bella School and Gathering Voices Environmental Film Festival in Bella Bella. She spoke and sang at the Marine Protected Areas Congress in Victoria, the Father’s Day Pow Wow, and recently at the Rhizome Cafe in Vancouver for Solidarity Night with the Dene Suline.

Ta’Kaiya has also played the lead role in several short films. She received two Leo Award Nominations (2009 and 2010) for Best Female Performance in a Short Drama for the films Shi Shi Etko and Savage. In both films, she portrayed a little girl who went to residential school.

Ta’Kaiya enjoys participating in her First Nations’ culture. She sang with the Sliammon Nation during the Tribal Journeys 2009 (Suquamish Nation) and 2010 (Makah Nation) in Neah Bay, Washington. The Swinomish Nation allowed her to sing on her own this year (2011) at Tribal Journeys since she was up in Ft. St. James singing during the Sliammon protocol. She is learning the songs and dances of the Sliammon Nation, in Powell River, and the Squamish Nation, and North Vancouver BC.