As people from faith traditions, we believe hydro development has deep spiritual dimensions. Mixed in with the benefits and harms of Manitoba’s hydro system are various spiritual implications.
We believe an element of sacredness flows in every river. All life depends on water, and both life and water are gifts from the Creator God. When a river is dammed or its natural course changed, its God-given sacredness is compromised. As riverbanks erode unnaturally, so do the spirits of all living beings that depend on the river. As shorelines erode so do spirits of those who depend on the electricity from those rivers. As dams sever the connectedness of river life, they also sever the sacred connections between people and the Creator God.
For us, this loss of sacredness is more a matter of lament than judgment. As people from faith traditions we believe faith should not be used as fuel for judgments about right and wrong but rather as a path to healing and wholeness.
As people who use electricity produced in northern Manitoba, we acknowledge our complicity in the wounds caused by the hydro system. Starting from that point, we suggest the following questions as a means for exploring the spiritual dimension of hydro impacts.
- What does faith have to offer other than just backing for arguments about who is right and wrong?
- What would happen if we supplemented environmental impact assessment with spiritual impact assessment?