Dances with Wolves actor joins “Wall of Women” opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion

Photograph of Tantoo Cardinal

“It breaks your soul,” actor Tantoo Cardinal said, deep in a conversation about growing up in Alberta’s boreal forest. Cardinal had flown into Vancouver from Toronto to join  the “Wall of Women” opposing Kinder Morgan’s oil pipeline expansion. The group included Squamish First Nation leader MandyNahanee, Lubicon Cree First Nation leader Melina Laboucan-Massimo, and Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer.

Cardinal, who starred in Dances with Wolves (1990), Legends of the Fall (1994) and Black Robe (1991), grew up drinking water from the rivers and lakes near Fort McMurray and the changes that have taken place since Canada’s bitumen boom, make her crazy, she said. This is what inspired her to travel from Toronto to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Vancouver.

“It was a pain in my being for many years. I felt hopeless and desolate because nobody believed me,” she said, of the environmental destruction she warned was happening in Alberta’s tar sands.

“Nobody wanted to hear about it. People were making money and living the life. I was a wild-eyed actress who had no sense of reality. Going back, it was all poison, I couldn’t see myself living there. It was filled with all these people from all around the world, their eyes were on fire with all the money they were making.”

Cardinal and the other activists stood on the beach Ambleside Park on a cold, rainy Saturday morning, preparing to up the ante on their fight to stop the American pipeline company from bringing more tar sands bitumen from Alberta through to the coastal waters of Vancouver.

To Cardinal, the real issue is water.

Read the full story here.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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