GATHERING OF MOTHER EARTH PROTECTORS AT QUEEN'S PARK:
This coming Monday, May 26, there will be a gathering at Queen's park in downtown Toronto in support of native land claims. The gathering is organized by the KI First nation and the Grassy narrows First nation. here is the callout, as transmitted by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).
GATHERING OF MOTHER EARTH PROTECTORS:
Monday, May 26, 2008, 5 p.m. until dusk
Toronto, Queen’s Park
May 26th – May 29.
On May 26th Indigenous communities and our supporters will gather at Queen’s Park to uphold our duty to protect the land, forest, water, and air and to promote respect for our Indigenous rights to say no to economic exploitation and environmental destruction. It is time to end the jailing and harassment of our people for protecting mother earth and traditional ways.
Please come to our large rally on May 26th at the legislature. We are also inviting supporters to join us in four days of ceremony, speakers,workshops, music, and a three night sovereignty sleep-over directly on the front lawn of the legislature.
Right now Indigenous communities across Ontario are taking a stand to assert our right to protect our traditional territories and the future of our peoples. Our communities are peacefully protesting destructive industrial projects that the government is permitting on our traditional lands without community consent.
Rather than respecting Treaties of co-existence and the UN recognized Indigenous right to withhold consent over industrial projects on traditional lands, the Ontario government is harassing Native people and jailing community activists and leaders including Bob Lovelace, Donny Morris, Sam McKay, Jack McKay, Cecilia Begg, Darryl Sainnawap, Bruce Sakakeep, and others. This cannot stand! Please join us in supporting freedom for First Nations and respect for the land.
This is an event of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI First Nation), Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, and Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation).
The Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, CAIA, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Labour Congress, Christian Peacemaker Teams, CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy - Ryerson University, CPAWS Wildlands League, CUPE Ontario, Defence for Children International, Forest Ethics, Greenpeace, Mining Watch Canada, No One is Illegal Toronto, NOW Magazine, OCAP, OPSEU, OSSTF, Rainforest Action Network, Ryerson Aboriginal Students Services, Tyendinaga Support Committee.
Ground rules for participation in the gathering and sleepover
As agreed and directed by the representatives of KI, Ardoch, and Grassy Narrows.
1. Respect the decisions of the community reps and abide by them.
2. Practice nonviolence: bring no weapons, show respect, do no property damage or graffiti.
3. No alcohol or illegal drugs.
4. Take responsibility for your own actions.
5. No racist, sexist, homophobic, or other oppressive behavior.
6. Stay sanitary. Wash your hands and clean up after yourself.
7. Help out with the tasks that are needed, including cooking, cleaning,etc.
8. Children under age 16 need an adult supervisor.
9. We ask that you not cover your face or wear camouflage at this event.
10. You are at a public action intended to draw public attention. If you don't want your image photographed or on video, please turn away or politely ask the photographer to stop.
Press Release: KI 6 to be Released Today, Bob Lovelace to Remain Incarcerated
(May 23, 3008) A motion was heard today in Toronto asking for the immediate release of political prisoners Bob Lovelace, and the KI pending the appeal of the sentencing for contempt which will be heard on Wednesday May 28.
Members of KI will be released today because Platinex, the platinum exploration company operating within their lands prior to the blockade,agreed to no drilling during this week leading up to the appeal. Frontenac Ventures, on the other hand, refused to make a similar guarantee to refrain from exploration work in Algonquin territory. Such a gesture would have allowed Bob Lovelace to be released pending the appeal under the same circumstances as KI leaders and council members. Bob Lovelace, therefore, is to remain incarcerated and will be transported to the appeal hearing on Wednesday.
For more information on what transpired in court today, contact Chris Reid who is legal council for both Ardoch First Nation and KI. He can be reached at 1-416-466-9928 or email@example.com
OCAP Statement in Support of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) and Ardoch Algonquin First Nations:
(March 2008) The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty stands in full support of and in solidarity with the jailed indigenous leaders who have been imprisoned for fighting to protect their lands, and we call for the immediate reversal of the politically motivated sentences recently imposed on the six members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation,as well as Bob Lovelace, co-chief of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.
OCAP decries the unacceptable fact that, over the past month, the colonial courts of this province have convicted and imprisoned seven First Nations people for trying to protect their lands.
In mid-March, six members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation were sentenced to six months in jail, for refusing to comply with an injunction allowing Platinex, an exploration company, to start drilling on traditional indigenous territory. In 1929, KI First Nation leaders signed Treaty 9, to protect their ability to hunt, fish and trap, and to prevent the encroachment of early miners and loggers. In the winter of 2005-06, Platinex, a mining-exploration company, tried to drill on landf or which it had staked a claim pursuant to Ontario's mining laws but which is also subject to Treaty 9. KI First Nation members prevented the drilling from proceeding. The company sued for damages and sought an injunction to prevent further protests. The end result of KIFN asserting their treaty rights is that their leadership has been jailed and a $10 billion lawsuit has been laid against the community.
Similarly, Ardoch Algonquin First Nation Co-Chief Robert Lovelace has now served over a month of his 6-month prison sentence for his role in AAFN'sefforts to resist claims staked by Frontenac Ventures Corporation to mine uranium on unceded traditional territories of the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations. Neither the company nor the governments consulted with the Algonquins, despite the fact that the staked land is part of a Comprehensive Land Claim that is under ongoing negotiation with Ontario and Canada. Bob Lovelace was also fined $25,000. In addition, the community was fined $10,000 and Chief Paula Sherman $15,000. Leaders of the neighbouring Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation and non-Aboriginal supporters of the AAFN have also been in court and a $77 million dollar lawsuit has been laid against their community.
In January 2009, Shawn Brant, spokesperson from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, faces a lengthy jury trial for charges stemming from blockades which took place in 2007, actions taken up to reclaim a quarry operation and part of the struggle for the return of the Culbertson Tract, land which the federal government has acknowledged belongs to the Mohawks. He faces a potential 12 years in prison. These charges are also accompanied by a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by the corporate interests of CN Rail.
OCAP condemns the fact that politicians at both the provincial and federal level, as well as judges, prosecutors, and police, have been sending a vicious and clear message that criminalization of indigenous resistance is the order of the day. Even the basic 'duty to consult' imposed on government before they authorize actions that might infringe on indigenous constitutional rights, enshrined in Section 35 of the Canadian constitution and Supreme Court of Canada rulings since 1990, is being ignored.
Given the poverty and lack of basic access to decent housing, clean water,education, and health care endemic to reserve communities in this province and country, we find the laying of massive financial punishment against indigenous people who are fighting back to be abhorrent and completely outrageous.
Finally, we denounce the trend of responding to blockades and actions taken up by indigenous communities who are protecting their traditional territories with criminalization and repression. In light of the ineffective land claim process, the lack of will on the part of provincial or federal governments to resolve claims issues, the ability of corporations to act under the auspices of Ontario's outdated Mining Act,provisions of which directly violate repeated findings of the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to First Nations treaty-rights and land-claims, and given the right of First Nations communities to sovereignty and self-determination, the racist colonialist response of government is unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue.
We call on the Ontario government to drop all charges and fines against Bob Lovelace and the AAFN, and to drop all charges against the KI Six. We demand that the Ontario government respond to the clearly stated demands of both communities. We demand that all corporate plunder, mining and exploration activities on the traditional territories of AAFN and KI cease immediately.
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
March 30, 2008
Stop the Criminalization of Indigenous Resistance:
Free All Indigenous Political Prisoners:
Stop the Theft and Plunder of Stolen Land