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Activist Communique: Press Release - Members of Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Sarnia Residents Say No to Line 9 and Ta

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For Immediate Release
May 21, 2013

Members of Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Sarnia Residents to Confront Industry Conference, Say No to Line 9 and Tar Sands Oil

SARNIA—Today at 11am, Sarnia residents and members of Aamjiwnaang First Nation will be joined by supporters from other impacted communities for a rally at City Hall (255 North Christina St) to demonstrate opposition to Tar Sands development—including Enbridge's Line 9 reversal. At 11:30, the group will be marching to the site of the Bitumen – Adding Value industry conference (Best Western Guildwood Inn, 1400 Venetian Blvd.) to challenge those who would pipe Tar Sands oil through communities all across Ontario, and process additional Tar Sands in Chemical Valley.

The Alberta Tar Sands are one of the largest industrial projects on the planet, taking place entirely on and at the expense of traditional territories of several Cree First Nations in Northern Alberta. In Ontario, Vanessa Gray, a community organizer and member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation asserts that, “the Tar Sands are one the most environmentally destructive projects on Turtle Island and pose an immediate threat to the health of the land and the health of future generations for all Peoples.”

The plan to ship corrosive Tar Sands bitumen through Ontario, from Aamjiwnaang/Sarnia to Westover/Hamilton, will create the risk of catastrophic oil spills identical to the Enbridge pipeline rupture in 2010 which poisoned Michigan's Kalamazoo River. Sam Elijah, an Indigenous Anishnabe mother from Kettle and Stony Point says, “I am concerned about the environmental damage my children will inherit if Tar Sands oil is allowed to cross our territories.”

Aamjiwnaang First Nation is surrounded by Sarnia's Chemical Valley. With 60 industrial facilities within 25 km of Aamjiwnaang, Chemical Valley is already the most concentrated cluster of petro chemical plants in the country. Refineries are directly across the road from the homes of community members, and people from Aamjiwnaang are persistently endure a variety of serious health problems.

The pattern of Indigenous (and other racialized) communities bearing the brunt of negative environmental and health impacts from resource extraction and other industrial projects, as well as the destruction of Indigenous lands and territories, are two of the issues that the Idle No More movement has confronted since it was initiated on social media last year.

Aamjiwnaang And Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP) is a group of concerned local residents focused on bringing awareness to the city of Sarnia and taking action for the health of the community.

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Media Contact: Sam Elijah, 519 917 1009

Email: asap1491@gmail.com

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