rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Grassy Narrows youth to deliver demands to Weyerhaeuser: No logging in our territory

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo by krystalline kraus at 2014 River Run

Kenora, Ontario -- A delegation of youth from Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation), joined by nearly two dozen Anishinabe and non-Indigenous supporters carrying protest signs and banners, will deliver today a letter and a set of demands to Weyerhaeuser. The group will arrive at the Kenora Timberstrand Trus Joist Mill, shortly before 11 a.m.

"We are here to remind Weyerhaeuser that Grassy Narrows Youth have already said clearly that there will be no logging in our territory," says Corissa Swain, 13, from Grassy Narrows.

"We are demanding that Weyerhaeuser commit to not use any wood that comes from our territory," says Kimiwan Assin, 15, also from Grassy Narrows.

The Youth delegation, will be joined in support by adults from Grassy Narrows, and by the On-to-Ottawa Caravan, a group of long-term activists from Western Canada who are travelling to Ottawa for the People's Social Forum, a conference of over 2000 activists, organizers, academics and journalists from across the country, taking place next weekend in Ottawa.

"No cause is more important than the struggle of Indigenous peoples for the right to decide their own fate and to protect their sacred territory," says John Haggerty, a participant headed from Vancouver to Ottawa for the Peoples Social Forum. "The goal of the Forum," Haggerty continues, "is for social movements to unite and support the struggles of all nations."

Today's action, taken by the youth, comes in the wake of Supreme Court of Canada decision against Grassy Narrows and amidst ongoing plans from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to commence clearcut logging within Grassy Narrows Territory as soon as the Spring. Weyerhaeuser's Kenora facility is allocated nearly all hardwood to be cut in Grassy Narrows Territory under the MNRF plan.

"We are mad, but we know that the trees and the land are precious and sacred, and we will protect them," says Corissa Swain. "We needed to tell Weyerhaeuser that, and to give them a chance to commit to not taking trees from our Territory," she continues.

Youth organizers from Grassy Narrows have previously issued statements in response to the Supreme Court of Canada case and the Provincial clearcutting plan, in which they have declared that they will continue to exercise Indigenous rights as Anishinabe People on the land throughout their Territory, regardless of decisions made by the government.

"What we really want," says Kimiwan Assin, "is for that plant to close, because even if they are not taking wood from Grassy Territory, the clearcutting is still destroying Anishinabe lands."

 

Contact:

Corissa Swain, 807 407 2417 807 407 2417

Edmond Jack, 807 407 2417 807 407 2417, GrassyNarrows.YouthGroup@gmail.com

On to Ottawa Caravan, 604 803 6927 604 803 6927

Media:

High resolution photos and B roll will be available. Email GrassyNarrows.YouthGroup@gmail

Links:

Youth statement on Supreme Court of Canada decision,

http://freegrassy.net/grassy-narrows-youth-to-respond-to-supreme-court-d...

Youth statement on MNRF Forestry Management Plan,

http://freegrassy.net/2014/03/03/grassy-narrows-youth-reject-logging-plan/

On to Ottawa Caravan,

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/john-haggerty/2014/08/on-to-ottawa-weste...

**

Letter to Weyerhaeuser + Demands

August 19, 2014

TO: Weyerhaeuser

FROM: Grassy Narrows Youth

To Whom It May Concern,

We are writing to you today to remind you that Grassy Narrows, Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek Youth, have already said clearly and repeatedly that no logging will take place in our traditional territory.

We, the Youth of Asubpeeschoseewagong are today demanding that you publically and legally commit to not take wood from our territory.

The land known as the Whiskey Jack Forest is our beautiful home, and is necessary for our lives and our culture, for us and future generations. We do not want you or anyone else clearcutting the forests and destroying the land. We know that the trees, the land and water are precious and sacred.

We have watched for our entire lives as our families and our community has fought back against logging and the destruction of the land, and we have learned to be determined and not to give up. As long as there are threats to the land and water our fight to protect them will not end.

We hope that you can hear us.

Here are our demands to Weyerhaeuser:

1. Make and publicly declare a binding commitment not to accept wood sourced from Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (ANA) Territory.

2. Respect Grassy Narrows' moratorium on industrial development in ANA Territory.

3. Close your Kenora mill and permanently cease your destruction of all Anishinabe lands.

In Sincerity,

Grassy Narrows Youth Group 

Photo by krystalline kraus at 2014 River Run

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.