Sunday, April 29, 2007

The indigenous community of Grassy Narrows has long been under attack by multinational logging companies, Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi, who wish to denude their traditional lands. The Ontario government has been complicit in this assault on a Canadian First Nation. For some time now the residents of Grassy Narrows have carried on an ongoing campaign to stop the clear cutting of their traditional lands. This spring they gained the support of Amnesty International who sent a fact finding mission to Grassy. The results of their mission can be read at the Amnesty Mission post, and they have initiated a letter campaign directed at the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources demanding proper consultation with the people of Grassy Narrows before any new logging can proceed.
The people of Grassy have been subjected to repeated assaults in the name of "progress". In the 1950s provincial hydroelectric dams flooded large parts of their traditional lands and wiped out many of the wild rice beds that they gathered from. In the 1970s a pulp and paper mill contaminated their water with mercury that still causes health problems to this day. Over 50% of their traditional territory has already been logged, despite an 1873 treaty that guarantees their rights to hunt and fish on their traditional lands. The Ontario government has granted licences to log in these lands until 2034.
To protest the continuing assault on this band go to the letter campaign above. To follow the news from Grassy go to the Friends of Grassy Narrows site.

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