Tag Archives: Algonquin

First Nation leaders address Canadian Parliament, harassed by security

Note:  For more information on Bill C-45 and the Harper government’s assault on First Nations in Canada, click here.

-The GJEP Team

December 4, 2012.  Source: Intercontinental Cry

Traditional territory of the Algonquin Peoples (Ottawa, Ontario)…Okimaw (Chief) Wallace Fox lead a procession of over 300 First Nation Chiefs, leaders, elders, women, youth and community members during an impromptu rally on Parliament Hill today. The First Nations movement is a result of frustration over the Canadian government’s current legislation. Bill C-45 is being debated in the house and Chiefs wanted to take part in the discussions of what will ultimately affect the future of their Peoples.

“We put Canada on notice today that we are a Sovereign Nation and that we won’t be intimated by them cause we know who we are and the Rights we have as Indigenous Peoples. We are disgusted by this governments lack of respect shown to us today when trying to enter into the House. We were pushed and shoved by security and told we weren’t welcome there. When a pipe is present in which it was today, no force is intended or appropriate. We are asserting our voices as Indigenous Peoples.”

This warning comes after an incident at Parliament today when MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-Kapuskasing) invited Chief Fox and nine other First Nations leaders to enter into Parliament to call out Minister of Indian Affairs, John Duncan and Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver to listen and respond to their concerns over C-45 and the debate that was taking place in the house today.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Oil

Sustainable colonialism in the boreal forest

Note: An example of what to expect from the so-called “Green Economy:” the same old injustice, environmental destruction and racism wrapped in a pretty green veneer.
–the GJEP Team
How the World WIldlife Fund Colluded With Big Timber to Target Sacred Lands for Logging

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by RUSS McSPADDEN, July 13, 2012

 Cross-Posted from CounterPunch
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What do you get when the world’s largest environmental organization and the world’s largest “sustainable” logging company shake hands? Answer: a half dozen press-releases that’ll increase donations to the eco- bureaucracy,  a green-washed face lift for a rapacious industry and a good old fashioned guilt-free feeling white America is willing to pay extra money for.

Oh yeah, that and the continuation of deforestation and the kind of genocidal colonial land use policies North America is founded on.

Resolute Forestry Products, on the heels of a big fat congrats last month by the World Wildlife Fund for its role as the world’s largest manager of Forest Stewardship Council® certified forests, has begun illegally logging on unceded indigenous land in the Boreal forest. Despite very clear stipulations spelled out in the UN Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a ruling by the supreme court of Canada that first nations must be notified of any intent to log on their land, Quebec’s liberal party government, under the leadership of provincial premier Jean Cherest, has sidestepped any negotiations with the original and sovereign inhabitants of the land and permitted the operation.

There is an on-the-ground indigenous resistance effort—an indigenous occupation of colonially occupied land—that has the potential to stave off the clearcuts and bolster the cultural life of a First Nation. They need supplies and funding for legal support and camp logistics. They need coffee and food staples. But maybe you had better just close your eyes and give that money to a large environmental organization. I doubt the Barriere Lake Algonquins will send you a bumper sticker for your Prius or an eco-friendly tote-bag in return. No, they have far more at stake than the value of their eco-brand.

“Tomorrow, they might arrest community members. We don’t have any other choice. My grandchildren will ask me “why didn’t you try to protect the ‘sacred site’ and my words will be worthless because its not there, that’s what we are facing, what we will loose for our grandchildren, but at least we are going to show that we stood our ground and the spirit was there with us.”

That’s Michel Thusky, an elder of the Barriere Lake Algonquins in southern Quebec and a survivor of the culturally devastating Canadian Indian residential school system. Known to themselves as the Mitchikanibikok Inik, they are yet another tribe of Algonquins in the region, along with the Attikamek, the Wemotaci and the Manawan, who have resisted illegal logging practices on their land, through camps and blockades, in the past few months.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs

Resolute forest products begins illegal logging on Algonquin lands in Canada

By  Jul 10, 2012

Cross-Posted from Inter-Continental Cry

Resolute Forest Products, the logging company formerly known as AbitibiBowater Inc., has begun an illegal logging operation on the territory of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, located in north western Quebec.

According to the following press release from Barriere Lake Solidarity, the ethical-sounding company failed to consult or seek out the free prior and informed consent of the Algonquin First Nation before their work commenced last Tuesday. The Canadian government equally failed in its responsibility to consult and accommodate the Algonquins of Barriere Lake.

More photos are available here, courtesy of Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa.

LOGGING PROCEEDS WITHOUT CONSENT ON TERRITORY OF ALGONQUINS OF BARRIERE LAKE

Resolute Forest Products, formerly Abitibi Bowater, logging land that includes sacred grounds.

July 9, Poigan Bay, QC – Resolute Forest Products, formerly known as Abitibi Bowater, began cutting last Tuesday on land of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake without proper community consultation or consent. The logging is taking place near Poigan Bay, Quebec, on land that includes sacred grounds and important moose habitat, according to community spokesperson Norman Matchewan.

In a letter sent to Premier Charest on July 4, elder Gabriel Wawatie states: “As one of the main harvesters, I was not properly consulted nor provided a written consent to this logging within our territory.”

Despite the lack of consultation, the Ministry of Natural Resources office in Maniwaki issued permits for the logging to take place.

Wawatie’s letter continues: “This clearly demonstrates your ministry’s lack of respect of the highest court ruling on the duty to consult and accommodate First Nations,” referring to the Supreme Court ruling on Haida Nation vs. British Columbia Ministry of Forests. “Therefore we are requesting that you cease logging operations in our territory.”

Last month, in a recent provincial court case, the same forestry company (Resolute Forest Products, formerly known as Abitibi Bowater) attempted to sue one of the youth leaders of Barriere Lake, Norman Matchewan. Vincent Larin, from the Maniwaki Ministry of Natural Resources office, issued two cutting permits for the same logging site (cutting block) in Barriere Lake territory that also included sacred sites. Fortunately, the forestry company lost their court case when the foreman contradicted his original statement and got caught lying on the stand.

In recent years, the community of Barriere Lake has resisted numerous resource extraction projects slated for their land. Most recently, members of the community confronted mining company Copper One at the company’s AGM in Montreal, opposing their mining exploration on Barriere Lake territory.

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Filed under Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Illegal logging, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs

Barriere Lake Algonquin acquitted for blockade charges; forestry company caught lying on the stand

By , cross-posted from Intercontinental Cry

VAL D’Or, QC – On June 5 2012, Norman Matchewan, a youth spokesperson for the First Nation of Mitchikanibiko’inik (the Algonquins of Barriere Lake), was acquitted on what community members alleged all along were politically motivated charges. Matchewan was acquitted of mischief and obstruction of justice stemming from a 2009 blockade protecting his people’s territory from illegal logging.

Matchewan was defending the forest from logging that had been unlawfully authorized by Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The logging was also a violation of a 1991 resource co-management agreement signed in 1991 between Barriere Lake, Quebec and Canada.

“Too many native peoples are criminalized for defending their land,” said Matchewan following the acquittal, “Today is a big victory for our community. We will not be intimidated by trumped up legal charges and court battles. We will always protect our land and custom for our future generations.”
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