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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- The issues with water and poor management of it, or of the natural systems that catch, clean and deliver it, are flowing into me with much greater frequency these days


The other day, I invited readers to think about, and maybe even share, something that you are thankful for.

I am inspired by the transformative power of gratitude. If practiced consistently, it begins to rewire our minds which absorb so much negativity each day.

It came to me as I was mid-morning walk that I did not share something I’m grateful for. Last week I got to walk in the rain! I’m thankful to be soaked by the cleansing rain!

SȽEMEW̱ is the word for rain in SENĆOŦEN, the W̱SÁNEĆ language. There is a beautiful story, passed down from one storyteller to the next, about the first man in W̱SÁNEĆ. He fell to the earth in the rain. His name was SȽEMEW̱.

You can hear the story in a short YouTube video and better understand our deep connection to water and the importance of water in the teachings of the W̱SÁNEĆ.

Flowing waters
The sacred bathing rituals connect us to the purifying creeks that are the earth’s circulatory system. For centuries they flowed freely from the highest places to the lowest.


Today many have been diverted, dammed and damaged.

For decades we have taken water for granted. However, in recent days with increasing droughts and the growing threat of climate change, we are reawakening to the need to reconnect with water and its life-giving force.

Many communities are desperate to protect and enhance their water supplies that have the devastation of the past century of poor management. We must not take water or SȽEMEW̱ for granted.

The issues with water and poor management of it, or of the natural systems that catch, clean and deliver it, are flowing into my email and constituency meetings with much greater frequency these days. Increasingly, I’m talking with my colleagues about water issues.

I think that will continue and the pressure will increase until we change our culture of assumed abundance with respect to water.


Adam Olsen ... is a Green Party Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Saanich North and the Islands.

Born in Victoria, BC in 1976, Adam has lived, worked and played his entire life on the Saanich Peninsula. He is a member of Tsartlip First Nation (W̱JOȽEȽP), where he and his wife, Emily, are raising their two children, Silas and Ella.

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