Message from JB Fobister in Grassy Narrows

Written by David

Topics: Pulp and Paper

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Wabigoon River, Grassy Narrows Traditional Territory

JB Fobister is a Grassy Narrows member who has been a key part of the community’s work towards self-determination. He sends this message:

Six years ago when we blocked the main logging road near our small community people told us we were crazy to take on two of the largest logging companies in the world. We weren’t crazy, we were just fed up with watching our livelihood, our culture, our medicine, our children’s future – our forests – being carried off our land right before our eyes. We were tired after decades of letter writing, petitions, meetings, protests, speaking tours, legal challenges and rallies, but we refused to give up.

Last night, as I was standing in front of my house looking out at Grassy Lake, it occurred to me that the news I had received a day earlier was something huge. Only at that point did it finally sink in that we had forced AbitibiBowater – the world’s largest paper company – to withdraw from our lands.

I’m really thankful for everybody that made this happen. We couldn’t have done it without everybody’s help over all these years.

I met yesterday with Ministry of Natural Resources regional manager Al Wilcox. His tone was entirely different from past meetings. He said “things will be different from now on.” They sure will be. Grassy will not stop until we are in control of our lands and until our territories have been withdrawn from all clear-cut logging. Our moratorium on industry without our consent still stands, and we will enforce it.

I’m very happy today. People need to hear about what we have done. Then people need to stand up and do something for themselves and for the land too. If Grassy can do it, so can you .

JB Fobister

12 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Cameron says:

    JB, I haven’t met you but I can only say it’s been an honor to do this work at RAN and to see the courageous, persistent ways people from Grassy Narrows have taken your message to the government, the companies and the world. Gichi meegwetch!

  2. Toben says:

    Thank YOU JB. Your courage and determination have inspired us all and we are honored to have taken part.

  3. Robin says:

    Thought I’d use this comment thread to share a link:

    http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/asithappens/20080605-aih-3.wmv

    This is 7 minutes of audio from a popular CBC radio show featuring Roberta Keesic from Grassy Narrows.

  4. becci kuligowski says:

    Thank you for that link. It was a wonderful piece and her dedication and serene connection to her land was both wonderful and sad to hear. Those people have lost so much but it sounds as though they are very able to bring back the heart and soul of their home. Peace.

  5. Sulyn Cedar says:

    Great work and congratulations on your tremendous success in getting AbitibiBowater off your land. Gratitude and hello to the folks I met who walked to Toronto and brought the duty to consult and logging industry issues to the front lawn of Ontario’s legislature. Migwetch to you and your community for helping to save earth and all with dedication and clear vision and spiritual strength.

  6. Mandy Haggith says:

    To all at Grassy Narrows, a heartfelt congratulations from Scotland. Our visit to Grassy Narrows back in 2002, just before the blockade began, will always be unforgettable. I remember the outrage and despair at seeing the vast, horizon-to-horizon clearcut. But most of all I will never forget the people we met at Grassy Narrows – the love of the land shining in their eyes, as they showed us around, made us welcome, told us their history and promised never to rest until they had stopped the desecration. And you didn’t rest and you have turned the tide of pulp-power. No-one deserves this victory more than Grassy Narrows First Nation – you are an inspiration to us all.

  7. Nicole says:

    Congratulations! We’ve all waited. Such good news to see. It will be well to see this promise through. Blessings and luck on your future endeavors good people.

  8. Ishbel Munro says:

    Congradulations! And thank-you! It lifts my Spirit to see your victory. Hello to Crissy and Judy and other,
    Ishbel
    Nova Scotia

  9. Diane says:

    THank you for making a difference.

  10. chickadee says:

    i just want to acknowledge all the peoples who’s names go unmentioned, the ones who fasted for the forests, the ones who walked and made prayers, also the ones who supported over the years who came to the blockade without having to belong to any organizations but individuals who believed in what Grassy Narrows was doing for all first Nation,
    * above all the PEOPLE of Grassy Narrows for believing in the struggle for Justice for all, and the ones who dwell on these lands, this would not be been possible without them*
    none of these organizations would not been doing what they are doing without their stuggle. So i also want to thank them also.

    Giitchi miigwetch to you MOTHER EARTH PROTECTORS

  11. Penny says:

    Its great to hear that all your long and hard work fighting for your land and your rights and prtecting your forest is bringing this good news to your people. Your dedication and determination is very inspiring and brings hope.

  12. Sellinger says:

    Showing some love to this topic “new to this wordpress”. I defiantly agree with it also. If you really think about it than it all makes alot of sense

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