If you haven’t already heard about Ontario’s huge announcement for the Boreal and Indigenous rights then you should REALLY check out this earlier post.
Ontario’s Premier committed to protect 50% of the province’s Northern Boreal Forest from all industry, and to allow new logging and mining only with the support of First Nations through a community landuse planning process that would require First Nations agreement.
Indian Country (The Nations’ Leading American Indian News Source) ran a long article today that began to put the announcement in context.
While the Government may cast their move as a benevolent attempt to ‘do the right thing’ they were really spurred to action by the highly effective and hard fought campaigns of Indigenous communities like Grassy Narrows, KI, Ardoch, and Six Nations. Those communities have not only been on the front lines of the blockades, they are also setting ground breaking legal precedents, and they are galvanizing a solidarity movement that has mobilized people and organizations across the spectrum from mainsteam to radical enviros, human rights, faith-based, labour, student unions, anti-poverty, and immigrant rights organizations.
It is primarily the work of these communities (and their supporters) that has created the political and economic necessity for this change. The work goes on as these communities continue the process of asserting their sovereignty, re-claiming their territories and livelihoods, healing their people, and caring for the earth. They are setting a bold example for the whole world to follow.
RAN, and our allies, have had the honor of working with some of these courageous communities over the last four years. Here are some of the pictures:
Sept. 21, ‘07 action with Grassy, KI, Ardoch, and CPT at the Ontario Legislature, shortly before the elections
June 25, ’07 action at Provincial Legislature with Grassy and KI , and CPT
July, ’06 Blockade of the English River Road with Grassy activists
April ’07 Seattle action at Weyerhaeuser subsidiary right before Weyerhaeuser AGM
March ’07 Seattle action
July 2006 TransCanada Highway blockade near Grassy Narrows
May ’08 Gathering, Rally, and Sleepover at Provincial Legislature with Grassy and KI , Ardoch and a huge coalition of supporters