Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Sliammon, sings her environmental advocacy song, “Shallow Waters”
Concerned about the environmental risks posed by the proposed pipeline, Ta’Kaiya wrote the song, “Shallow Waters,” with her music teacher, Aileen de la Cruz. As the song was being written, the BP oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, giving the young activist performer’s project a sense of urgency. Greenpeace sent a CD to 350 Canadian politicians and officials at Enbridge, the Alberta pipeline company.
The result: Letters or emails of support from British Columbia’s premier and two members of Parliament; interviews with CBC Radio, Global News, North Shore News and the Vancouver Province; and an invitation by the five First Nations of the Yinka Dene Alliance to speak outside the annual meeting of Enbridge shareholders.
Ta’Kaiya has starred in three short films and a documentary since 2009. She was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Performance by a Female in a Short Drama, for her debut role as Shi-Shi-Etko, a girl who is being taken away from her home to attend a residential school.
Swinomish Chairman Brian Cladoosby was moved by the warning in her lyrics, “Shallow waters I can't see / The wondrous life God created to be / The tankers and pipelines keep coming through / I turned my head and so did you.”
“The Creator said you’d better listen to this 10-year-old girl,” Cladoosby said.