Growing up in North America the US was always the bad sibling and Canada the good one. You hear about how beautiful the land still is, how they are more open minded, a place where draft dodgers found their refuge from the evil American government, that Canada is not all about the insane capitalism worshiped in America, and how still in this day and age people don’t lock their front doors, so imagine my surprise when cruising the Rainforest Action Network I came upon this action alert, Help Free Political Prisoners in Canada!
Political Prisoners in…Canada? I don’t believe it! I decided to do some investigating, here’s what I found…
On March 17th, 2008, Chief Donny Morris and five other band council members (five men and one woman, KI councilor Cecilia Begg, who sits alone in the Thunder Bay District Jail. A jail which has had three aboriginal deaths in the last four years.) of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation were sentenced to six months in prison by Justice Patrick Smith of the Ontario Superior Court in Thunder Bay, for contempt of a court injunction which prohibits them from interfering with a mineral exploration program by Platinex Inc., where they have lived in the Boreal forest for over 5,000 years.
The KI6 and tribe believe that according to the Adhesions made in 1929 of Treaty 9 it is their right by law to defend their land from Platinex Inc. In 2005, Platinex, prepared to drill on land it had staked a claim pursuant to Ontario’s mining laws, land covered by Treaty 9. KI First Nation members protested on the site, preventing the drilling. Plantinex sued for damages and sought an injunctionto prevent further protests.
KI First Nation, then received an interim injunction. The injunction was granted on the condition that the parties negotiate toward an agreement that would allow Platinex to drill. Ontario joined as the “intermediary”, between the two parties, but no agreement was reached.
Justice Patrick Smith lifted the injunction last May and imposed an agreement, proposed by Platinex and Ontario. This proposal pretty much ordered KI First Nation members to allow Platinex onto their land to drill. When they did not submit, they were found in contempt of court and have been jailed ever since.
What they KI First Nation did was defend an agreement enforced by the Treaty No. 9 to share the land as equals and to protect their land in accordance to their spiritual beliefs. The results was they were inprisoned. Watch out Canada you’re sounding more and more like America here. I enjoy thinking right above me is a place, that if need be, I can run to escape the evils of the U.S.A….don’t ruin it for me now.
THE KI DEMANDS:
With consultation between the exiled Council members and the Council in Kitchenuhmaykoosib, we take a strong stand on the following:
1. No Parliamentarian, be it federal or provincial member, is allowed in the Homelands of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug;
2. No more free entry to Kitchenuhamaykoosib lands by Platinex or any other mining entity including First Nations mining companies;
3. Ongoing blockade will be more protected and secured in order to protect our KI Homelands;
4. Assembly of First Nations must abandon the partnership agreements with the mining industry in Canada;
5. All First Nation political territorial organizations in Ontario do not speak directly for or on behalf of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, but their support on the issue is welcome;
6. Ontario must respond to our proposal made with our brothers and sisters of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, to establish a joint panel on mining on First Nations lands.
These demands don’t seem so bad when you look at the history between Native Americans and North Americans, but I will not get into all of this here.
If you feel that injustice is being done, there are ways to get involved. First, the Rainforest Action Network has set up a letter to the Ontario government, where you just enter your information and click! Second, send this entry to everyone you know to educate people on what rights violation are occurring towards the KI First Nation. You can also email Premier McGuinty here.
I will leave you with a photo (and thought) I saw on the Free the KI6 site.
Reason 62 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In what is still the most comprehensive study of diet and life-style ever made, the China Study found that the consumption of relatively small amounts of animal protein is linked to chronic disease. The findings from this grand epidemiological study are especially compelling because they allowed meaningful comparisons between populations with similar genetic backgrounds, yet with nonhomogeneous diets. All together, the China Study provides the ultimate vegetarian vindication.