Climate and Capitalism urges all supporters of Indigenous rights and opponents of environmental destruction to support the KI Nation in northwest Ontario against the occupation of their land.
Sign their email petition here: http://kilands.org/tell-mcguinty-to-respect-ki-sacred-landscape/.
In 2008, the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) Nation in northwestern Ontario celebrated a precedent-setting victory against Platinex mining company. Supported by Indigenous nations and allies across the country, KI community members used everything from blockades to letter writing, demonstrations to sleep-ins on the lawn of Provincial Parliament, to stop Platinex from exploring its platinum prospects in the territory.
KI is a small fly-in Oji-Cree community. At the heart of the community is Big Trout Lake, a rich body of water long eyed by corporations with intentions to “develop” the territory. Like many other Indigenous communities across Turtle Island exercising their sovereignty, KI was told by the provincial government they would be forced to “negotiate”with Platinex, in direct violation of treaties signed and their inherent right to refuse extractive industries on their traditional lands. In the face of mounting opposition, the McGuinty government paid Platinex $5 million plus court fees to reluctantly leave the territory.
This victory was not easily earned. Chief Donny Morris and five other brave community members were jailed for defending traditional lands. Had it been successful, Platinex would have done what mining companies are doing elsewhere across traditional territories globally: invading Indigenous lands for mining while contaminating water supplies and fisheries, dumping cancerous chemicals, clear-cutting forests, and displacing the rightful custodians of the land.
Today, KI again faces an attack on their territories. The gold mining corporation God’s Lake Resources has staked claims over sacred KI burial grounds and is threatening to invade within weeks. A joint panel between KI and the Ontario government has collapsed, bringing the KI community back to where it was at the beginning of the Platinex dispute. The focus of their exploration site is the rich watersheds around Big Trout Lake.
KI and its supporters are now forced to mobilize in a renewed struggle against the colonial Canadian government and laws and its corporate allies.
KI First Nation has governed and cared for the Homeland, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Aaki, that is at the core of their culture since time before memory.
This vast area of boreal lakes, rivers, forests, and wetlands provides KI’s pristine water supply, the lake trout the community rely upon, and their sacred landscape.
KI has a vision for the future of their lands and environment that benefits both KI and all life.
Ontario must respect KI’s rights by:
- Respecting KI’s Right to Say No;
- Recognizing and respecting KI’s Water Declaration which excludes all industry from the Big Trout Lake and Fawn River watersheds;
- Respecting KI’s Indigenous laws. Kanaawayandan d’aaki!
With the Ontario government refusing to act, the KI Nation has called for allies to urgently support their political campaign to defend their lands and sovereignty.
Support KI against corporate takeover.
For more information, see http://www.KILands.org
[Thanks to Toronto Bolivia Solidarity for alerting us to this.]