Our first glimpse of the inimitable Willi Nolan was in a video of her praying in front of a seismic thumper truck exploring for natural gas in Kent County, New Brunswick. She is drumming, singing, followed by two confused police officers, who ask for her to stay a certain distance in front of the advancing machine. Soon Willi is joined by over 100 anti-shale gas protesters, singing, whistling, bearing signs, and together the trucks are successfully stopped. Such began a summer-long series of protests, blockades and resistance to natural gas exploration, during which Willi alternately lived in protest camps or welcomed protesters into her nearby home on 50 acres of pristine forest 15 minutes west of Elsipogtog First Nation. “I grew up in Toronto, but had a vision to come east. Now I know why,” she said, when we stopped by her home the day after exploring the sites of that summer’s resistance. Willi is now a lead plaintiff of the Frack Back People’s Lawsuit, her multi-faceted response to an injunction and SLAPP lawsuit filed against her and others by Southwestern Resources, the natural gas company whose exploration they were working to stop. This tactic is just one part of her life’s work, which she describes as “the prevention of the destruction of human and ecosystem health using citizen action, ancestral teachings and education as key tools.” Willi is an inspiration to so many, a guiding light of wisdom for those working towards justice.
Willi’s spirit name is “Little Fire Always Burning”, an apt echo of the persistent passion and love she displays in the face of injustice. She has no hesitation about dedicating her life to manifestation of the better world she dreams of.
“It makes me cry sometimes when I hear people talk about “resource development,” because it always means exploitation at minimum and savage desecration at its extreme. We can do so much better. We have to. Even my body belongs to Mother Earth. She is Boss over ALL the lands and waters.”
Willi’s teachings and action are grounded in her determination to be awakened so that she can express her highest potential in collaboration with the peoples of the Earth. She sees the foundation of this awakening as lying within love, humility and bravery, quick to remind us that false ego does not serve us. “I am not your saviour. When we are walking in peace and harmony with our own spirits, there is no need to look outside to know Goodness and Love; There is no need for saviours. When WE are walking with all our relatives in love, peace and harmony with all of Life, WE are being saviours for each other and for all Mother Earth’s children. The way to make our new and better world is to do it together, to share what we have and what we are.”
Read more from Willi at willinolanspeaks.com