Divide and rule: Algonquin leaders sentenced to 6 months for occupation

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Re Ardoch and Shabot Algonquins and contempt of court charges - the real story: Neal Smitheman, lawyer for Frontenac Ventures, seeking fame as a prosecutor (read persecutor) of First Nations, is spinning this to divide and conquer. Chiefs of the Shabots stepped away from the contempt charges for the time being, as did some of the Ardoch leadership. The courts managed to throw just one leader, Robert Lovelace, lecturer at Queen's, into prison for six months, plus a $25m fine and $2m a day for each day he does not purge contempt. See shabotisstillhere for the real story - the real contempt among our settler-Algonquin coalition is for the Ontario Government who are in cahoots with the mining companies through the draconian Mining Act. By the way, Smitheman has also said "There is an elephant in the courtroom and it's wearing a badge" - he has subpoenaed OPP and wants to charge them as well after they maintained the peace all through the summer of 07. A United Church minister and member of the Christian Peacemakers are the next to appear on contempt charges March 18.



I do believe that your last post explains the situation and how all parties involved are handling it is the best explanation to date.
There are many ways in which the goal of fighting the mining company and the courts can be done.
But the bottom line is they (all groups concerned)are dedicated to stopping the mining company. They all are still standing shoulder to shoulder but are attacking the problem from different angles.
We can only hope that one group or another will succeed in the battle to stop the miming company.

Just FYI, one of the things this mining company will do if they are allowed to go ahead with this project is,they will drain one of the small lakes within the 5000 acres they have staked. Therefore completely disrupting the natural water shed and flow of said water shed in that area. The devastating effect on the land and animals if this was allowed will have astronomical impacts on this area for thousands of years to come and it will never recover.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I think Hawk is referring to Crotch Lake.


[ 02 March 2008: Message edited by: ElizaQ ]


just to keep this current, there is further court activity on March 18 at the courthouse in Kingston. More contempt charges, cops testifying, should make good fodder for discussion, who's next behind bars? It is really helpful to be present in the courtroom to get a real sense of Ontario's scheme to make political prisoners out of those who would protest against the tearing apart of the Constitution. It happened in America, guess it can happen here.


Please visit this site for up dates as well.




From Shabot Website
[b]Shabot is Suing the government

The Shabot Obaajiwan of the Algonquin Nation are seeking a ruling from Canada’s own court system that Ontario violated the Algonquin Nation’s right to meaningful consultation and accommodation by issuing land use permits to Frontenac Venture Corporation (FVC) in Sharbot Lake. The goal of the lawsuit is to force the government to begin meaningful consultation with the Algonquins about the uranium mine. The Shabot Obaajiwan have filed a counterclaim suit with the government and Frontenac Ventures that is reflective of the full damages of failing to consult on the Algonquin land. The Shabot Obaajiwan have filed the lawsuit to hold FVC accountable for their actions and to hold Ontario accountable to following its own laws and to consult with them before they allow the mine to proceed.


According to trial transcripts the Shabot would not have been able to pursue getting consultation to stop the mine unless they went the route they did. They will be in court on the 18th to face sentencing.


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MARCH 18 2008

Canada named in uranium lawsuit
First Nation claims federal government ignored Constitution

Sharbot Lake, Ontario: The Shabot Obaajiwan of the Algonquin Nation is adding the government of Canada to its lawsuit against the Ontario government and a company exploring for uranium on Algonquin lands. The lawsuit is based on the right of First Nations to be consulted before development takes place in their traditional territory.

“We weren’t consulted about this uranium proposal and we’re still waiting,” said Earl Badour, Condoned War Chief and spokesperson for the Shabot Obaajiwan.

Last year, Frontenac Ventures Corporation staked claims for uranium on 30,000 acres of Algonquin land west of Ottawa known as the Frontenac Tract. Neither the company nor the governments consulted with the Algonquins, despite the fact that the staked land is part of a Comprehensive Land Claim that is under ongoing negotiation with Ontario and Canada.

“The governments have chosen to disregard their legally binding duty of meaningful consultation,” said Shabot Obaajiwan Chief Doreen Davis in making the announcement. “Our legal position is based on Section 35 of the Canadian constitution and Supreme Court of Canada rulings since 1990. Those rulings impose the ‘duty to consult’ on governments before they authorize actions that might infringe on Aboriginal constitutional rights.”

The Shabot Obaajiwan have been fighting the uranium development since June 2007, along with their sister nation the Ardoch Algonquins and non-native area residents. Their peaceful protest has led to contempt of court charges and severe penalties, with more trials pending.

“The government accuses First Nations of breaking Canadian laws when they defend their lands, but Canada itself is selective about which of its own laws it will abide by,” said Badour. “If the law doesn't serve their purposes they conveniently ignore it."

The Shabot Obaajiwan's lawsuit comes in the wake of other important legal rulings for First Nations across Canada. The Ka'agee Tu First Nation of the North West Territories recently had their right to consultation and accommodation acknowledged in regard to the drilling of oil wells on their traditional hunting grounds by Paramount Resources. The Manitoba government suspended a drilling permit for Victory Nickel Inc. after admitting it had failed to notify or consult with the Norway House Cree Nation about the drilling permit.

“The fact that First Nations people constantly have to fight to have their basic rights acknowledged shows how flawed the Canadian justice system is,” said Badour. "We have to exhaust every avenue in the law here in Canada. Then, if we haven't been dealt with fairly, the only avenue left is the international courts."

Website: [url=http://www.shabotisstillhere.com]www.shabotisstillhere.com[/url]


In court today the leadership, Condoned War Chief Earl Bandor and Chief Doreen Davis , agreed to undertakings to be able to legally be able to pursue the above action on behalf of the Shabot Obaajiwan Nation ( if they had not agreed they would not have been allowed to bring this lawsuit ) to fight the mine with the goal of stopping the mine because their constitutional rights have been violated.


What "undertakings" did they agree to?



Originally posted by unionist:
[b]What "undertakings" did they agree to?[/b]

Same one's as before, essentially they won't break the injunction


update on the court proceedings of March 18, all the "white" guys got off - same charges as Bob Lovelace, who remains in prison - what does this tell us about the courts, the corporation, and the governments. Nobody wanted any more jail terms, but is this not an outrageous, manipulative, unjust move to make this a First Nations issue only? The three freed non-native guys are getting ready to take this story out there.....meanwhile, the lawsuits are piling up against the governments. See Shabot website, see KI website for strong statement against this racist agenda.


Bob Lovelace has started a hunger strike, and Chief Paula Sherman may be going to jail as today is the deadline for her to pay a $15,000 fine. And Michael Bryant is doing nothing to resolve this, despite his fine claims to the media.


Jailed Algonquin Leader Begins Hunger Strike

Second Algonquin Chief Going to Jail - McGuinty Government Does Nothing

On February 15, 2008 Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) Spokesperson Robert Lovelace was sentenced in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kingston to 6 months in maximum security, plus crippling fines, for peacefully protesting uranium mining in the Ardoch homeland. Chief Paula Sherman was fined $15,000 and given until today to pay the fine, failing which she will be jailed.

On March 17, a Superior Court judge in Thunder Bay sentenced six leaders of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) to six months after they were found in contempt of court in dispute which is virtually identical to that of the Ardoch Algonquins.

The jailing of respected, law-abiding community leaders has had a devastating impact on our communities, particularly on the families of those incarcerated. The indifference shown by the McGuinty government towards the rights of First Nation communities and the imposition of long jail terms and crippling fines in the name of “the rule of law” has further eroded respect for both the legal system and the government of Ontario in the eyes of First Nations people in this province.

The cases of the KI Six and Robert Lovelace are strikingly similar. In both cases Ontario gave approvals to mining companies to conduct aggressive mineral exploration on land claimed by First Nations as their own. In both cases this approval was given without any consultation with affected communities, forcing the First Nations to take action to end the illegal exploration when the government refused to act. In both cases the mining company sought and obtained court injunctions to end the peaceful protests of the First Nations, while lawyers representing Ontario supported the mining industry’s legal manoeuvres at every stage.

For the first month of Bob Lovelace’s incarceration, the government of Ontario said nothing, remaining indifferent to this travesty. Since the jailing of the KI Six, and public outcry which followed, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant, has told the media that he has “bent over backwards” to try to resolve the disputes which led to the incarceration of seven First Nations leaders from our two communities. He also claims that he wishes to see the incarcerated communities leaders freed from jail.

We want to set the record straight.

In fact, there has been no response from Minister Bryant to any of our proposals for peacefully resolving the dispute. Minister Bryant’s staff also has not responded to several calls and emails seeking a response to our proposals. To put it bluntly, Michael Bryant is a liar.

Bob Lovelace is now entering his fourth month in jail while the KI Six are about to begin their third month of incarceration. They are prisoners of conscience, jailed by the government of Ontario to send a message that the interests of the mining industry will trump Aboriginal rights and the environment of Ontario.

Lovelace, who turned 60 in jail, announced that he will begin a hunger strike tomorrow to press the government to respond to Ardoch’s request for good faith negotiations. “I do not want my children and grandchildren to have to go through what we are going through” he said. “Starting tomorrow I will consume only water in the hopes that our cry for justice will be heard by Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Bryant.”

Chief Paula Sherman said: “I will soon be going to jail because I cannot and will not pay this unjust fine. I am a single mother with three dependents whose only crime is the defense of our land. Like Bob Lovelace and the KI 6, I would rather go to jail than take food out of my children’s mouths or let our land be destroyed .”

Acting Co-Chief Mireille Lapointe added “We are sickened by the hypocrisy of the McGuinty government. While honest, conscientious community leaders languish in their jails for peacefully protecting our land from uranium mining, all these politicians care about is their public image. They are lying when they say they are trying to resolve these disputes. They have done nothing at all and continue to show total indifference. They do not even respond to our letters, calls and emails asking for negotiations, meanwhile claiming they care about us and our land”.

Ardoch and KI remain committed to resolving these disputes peacefully, through negotiations which lead to responsible, cooperative land use planning. We call on all citizens of Ontario to support the unconditional release of our leaders and negotiators by joining us at Queen’s Park on May 26 at the Gathering of Mother Earth’s Protectors.

For more information contact Paula Sherman: (613) 329-3707

Or Chris Reid, lawyer: (416) 629-3117

Le T Le T's picture

A bit behind on posting this but this is Bob Lovelace's submission to the Citizens Inquiry into Uranium Mining. He wrote this from jail using two golf pencils taped together that he sharpened on a concrete step.

> (Robert submitted this handwritten presentation to the Inquiry via surface mail. Acting Ardoch Algonquin First Nation Co-Chief, Mireille LaPointe, read the presentation at the Ottawa Inquiry on Robert's behalf. -LD)
> My name is Robert Lovelace. I am a member of the Ardoch Algonquin n First Nation. Our traditional homeland is within the Ottawa River Valley among the Madawoska, Mississippi and Rideau watersheds. Our community also uses the Nation River watershed. The Ardoch Algonquin First Nation is with the greater Algonquin Nation of the Anishnabeg People.
> I am writing to you from the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario on the 50th day of incarceration. I have been imprisoned because I refused to submit to Judge Douglas Cunningham's order for my community to leave their peaceful protest and permit Frontenac Ventures Corporation access to our traditional homelands to carry out exploration activities, including deep core drilling for uranium. I have been sentenced to 6 months and fined $25,000. In addition, Co-Chief Paula Sherman was fined $15, 000 dollars and the community $10,000 and the community's defence and counter claims to a $77 million dollar lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Cunningham leaving the First Nation completely vulnerable and without representation.
> In my defence, and as explanation for actions taken by the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, I gave evidence about the Algonquin understanding of land and the responsibility for protecting the land with Algonquin Law. This knowledge comes to us through oral traditions: through stories, songs, principle saying and ceremony. It is shared collectively. No one person holds all the knowledge with requires people to come together and contribute what they know for the greater good. We also turn to our elders who through their long experience of living and cumulative use and understanding of knowledge can instruct with intelligence and wisdom. In this way Algonquin law continues to be profound and dynamic.
> The Algonquin understanding of land begins with creation and in the context of its expressions in Anishabemowin (the Algonquin language). For Algonquins creation does not centre on human beings or on a determined plan of an all powerful god. The face of creation is shaped by vision, which gives spirit form. Mater, in its diversity and sameness dances in a whirl of changing shapes, arranged by harmony, balance and compliment. In this animate matrix all being are alive. The air, water, stone and the fires of the earth and sun are living beings. Like all the creatures who fly, walk or swim, what exist within a symbiotic reference with all life, either real imagined or symbolic is linked to spirits of a living world. If the creator directs any attention towards human being it is with benign indifference as the great spirit observes the artifice of life's vision with equal interest. Like all creatures, humans are created whole but not in the image of the totality of life. In fact humans are understood to be one of the most dependent of all creatures lacking a fundamental understanding of purpose, which leaves them vulnerable and ignorant. Humans through like all other creatures have a will to survive, instincts to prevail, logic discipline and imagination to adopt and prosper. Like other creatures the highest achievement of human beings is successful integration into the immense complexities of the local. Failure is to be alienated to the marginal and superficial grasping and exploiting without caution anything that merits consumption. The later is what we call Windigo. Being humans is not about mitigating heaven and hell or any other godly realms. Being a human being is about activating the gifts of truth, courage, love, respect, honesty wisdom and honour the principles which allow Anishnabeg to stay true to the human purpose of protecting the land and then human purpose of protecting the land and the human family.
> Our creation stories if told one after another would take days if not weeks to recite. A lifetime is not long enough to understand the cumulative wisdom and knowledge of the stories. However, it would not take a listener long to understand that it is the land that gives shape to the spirits in physical form. Each place, each watershed, each ecosystem moulds and shaves, revealing pragmatic variations. The colour of eyes, the length of limbs, the metabolic rhythms that regulate fibre and fluid, the lay and colour of hair are traded for harmony within the ecosystem. Serendipity is tested and retested, accepted and rejected in minute detail that takes ages to preserve and to be changed again and again. It is enough to know that as human beings we are appendages of the land, made of the same earth, flowing in the same waters, breathing the same wind, warmed by the same fire.
> We live in a critical age. Never before has humanity faced such great peril and never before has the human conscience been so alive in its collective recognition and understanding of the way forward. As a species we have become intimate with almost every ecosystem on the planet. And beyond that we have an empirical understanding of the beginning and end of this universe. However, our human systems embrace a self-defeating dilemma through reactive resistance or acquiescence to Solomon's lament that everything is vanity. And while the real choices seem ultimately confusing, now is the time that we must decide the fate of generations to come.
> There is no mystery that as a species we have fallen from grace. There is great suffering among humans in this world because few have privilege and many do not. Even in the so called developed nations the gap between rich and poor is widening. The indigenous wealth, in economic terms called "virgin wealth", which has been rapaciously extracted from the earth without consent or concern is now long past the point where demand exceeds supply. The great European Empires who rose in five centuries from the cheapest labour in the world to indulgent affluence are now consuming their own children with debt, unable to sustain or curtail superfluous excess. While our parents and grandparents honestly believed they were creating a better world. We know now that their dreams were not sustainable. We know that.
> Politicians, guided by the power of the privileged class, promise that the dream of perpetual affluence is still possible. It is not. For millions upon millions of human beings, impoverished and separated from their indigenous relationship with the land, the proof is clear, development as defined by Colonial nations of this world is merely theft and murder and when we bring it on ourselves it is suicide. To put one stone upon another without ultimate acceptance of the consequences is to kill both the meaning and spirit of our sacred relationship with the earth. Modern leaders plead with us to accept the most obsequious forms of racism, classism, sexism and human and environmental injustice as an abeyance of our own uncontrollable decline in the hope that we will choose the inevitable, a binary of privilege and poverty as the only sustainable reality. It is in this sense that Ontario promotes uranium exploration, mining and the extension of a highly subsidized nuclear energy policy. With the current Ontario leadership there is no turning back, there are no efficient alternatives, there is no preparations for the end of social an cultural consumerism, as dependency on fossil fuels becomes too expensive. For the present government in Ontario one unachievable promise replaces another.
> Along side the blind faith in continued development, political leaders continue to accept the degradation of the environment as a natural law of economics. Politicians tell us that they know best. Despite their obvious allegiance to a privileged and insulated clientele, they assure the less privileged that they alone have insight into the future, a higher standard of legal and social justice and a single-mindfulness for the welfare of humanity. They at once point to the unspoiled "wilderness" as a national treasure while over seeing its spoilage through central management. Over the past two decades environmental protection legislation has not been strengthened. In fact it has been consistently compromised through a lack of funding and abridgements to legislation. What we thought we had in Ontario by way of environmental protection while discursive of quasi-judicial levels remains at best the whimsy of the political party in power. The principles of environmental protection as a dynamic discipline are for less known among Ontario leadership than the results of their latest popularity poll or the info-advertisements of some jaded pundit in the National Post. The dependency on "virgin wealth" in their minds is confused with divine authority advance by colonial ideology. Continuing down this seeming relentless path of consumption and waste will draw humanity ever closer to a threshold where neither the lessons of the past or the promises of the future have any applicable meaning.
> I am not a scientist but I have informed myself about the nuclear industry. Not for one moment do I believe that nuclear energy is clean or cheap. I have seen the pictures from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island and read much about the devastating effects on people and the environment. I have learned that the leading industrial diseases in the United States are caused by ionizing radiation. I spent the better part of my youth listening to strategic Air Command Bomber's take off and return with their cargos of Atomic weapons, commanded by politicians with marginally sophisticated technology and less than honourable political agendas. I understand that Canada's "virgin wealth" in yellow cake uranium has left this country virtually untraceable and found its way into the processing plants of the likes of Saddam Hussien. This is not a clean technology when millions of tons of radioactive waste from mining is deposited into lakes and ponds with no intent on the part of industry or government to mitigate the cost and damage to future generations. There is nothing clean about open pit mining that demands the burning of exorbitant amounts of fossil fuels to extract, process and transport the raw product. Conservative estimates of the costs of fossil fuels in mining uranium are ј of the economic output in the life of a nuclear reactor. This estimate does not include the impact of expended carbon emissions on the environment. Spent uranium following the fission process presents even greater costs and concerns. The National Academic of Science reported in February 1958 that "the cost of story radioactive fission products temporarily to cool them, of extracting long lived isotopes and shipping waste to disposal points for ultimate disposal will have a major influence on the economics of nuclear power." Fifty years later not one county using nuclear power generation has solved the problem and the cost of temporary storage continues to escalate.
> Economically speaking if I were only concerned with return on my investment I would put my money on nuclear power. No other industry in Canada has had the level of environmental protection costs exempted than the nuclear industry. Besides the assurance that environmental protection will not encumber business, every loan-shark in the world knows that there is no greater profit than in an enterprise that is unable to pay off the initial loans. In the future the cost of nuclear energy will not only fuel inflation but it will also reap the highest rates of investment return. Ontario has reached a threshold where existing first generation nuclear reactors are some 15 billion dollars in debt and unable to draw down the debt any further. The present premier's solution is to borrow more money to build an even costlier second generation in an era where private energy conservation due to rising prices will be the normative challenge of every household. You can bet that it will not be the McGuinty loan sharks. Those who will pay the cost will be working and retired, the poor and indigenous people.
> I have come to understand that uranium and the military industrial complex that it feeds, is the forbidden fruit of our generation. It is the turtle with the ring of moss on its back. It is the glittery box on which Pandora speculates. My investment in the future will not be in uranium nor its allied industries. I chose the morality of Algonquin Law and I will let posterity be my judge. I have never been reconciled with Solomon's view that all is vanity. The beauty of a frozen swamp in the middle of winter is not a self-absorbed pretension. The beauty of a rainbow, a sunset, a fungus growing in layers along a fallen tree, a world independent of human comings and goings, all in all, never less than any which may be contrived. The goal of living is not in attaining beauty but in accepting it. Desire is what blinds us to invent beauty, to invent confections for the heart and mind. And in doing so we live our lives out as caricatures on Vanity's stage. As an Anishnabeg person I am not long our of the forest and I know that water in its natural form is beautifully clean, the wind is warm and full of song or cold and clear, the earth after a billion years still smells fresh and clean, one see will produce ten, a hundred, even a thousand fold. I know that the earth is a quiet place as though listening to itself. When it speaks it does so in an immense diversity of voices, some cautious, some cautioning, all beautifully distant but urgent to be heard. It is such a world that vanity seeks to erase.
> I believe that at not other time in history have humans collectively had such a clear view of the whole frame. At once it is possible to see our beginnings and the possible futures a head of us. This perspective however will not last. As we advance further a history of over consumption and unmanageable waste the opportunities for sustainability and the perceptible choices become fewer and fewer. Social change does not come easily. The defences against colonialism have had only marginal success and more often than not have resulted in violence and counter revolution. However when we look at the natural world we can see their powerful forces with which human beings ally. Within our human nature are forces with which we can endure through the harshest challenges. Collectively, the bonds of family, clan and community are far stronger than the deceptions that divide us. In pursuit of positive social change we need to activate within ourselves the gifts endowed upon us through creation. Perception, logic, discipline, imagination, courage and insight are only a few of the powerful gifts within us. We need to activate ourselves to ask less and give more so our local communities become stronger. We need to embrace silence so when we do speak the clarity of our voice will be unmistakable.
> Changing the intentions of governments can be even more difficult than effecting social change. I have no doubt that more people will have to go to prison before Ontario becomes nuclear free and we embrace a society that undertakes real sustainability. The whole basis of sustainability is local communities meeting local needs. Big government simply does not fit into this picture and neither does corporate construction of need fulfilment. Sustainability is not about turning back the clock but rather the long overdue evolution of rationalizing real human needs with real earthy processes. As a society in change Ontario will need every bit of the wealth now destined for nuclear development to effect the transitions that are required. Urban structures need to be reinvented. The meaning of labour will need to be redefined. Eco-cartography will reshape political boundaries. And most of all people will change culturally. The present energy crisis and the need for sustainable economies necessitate a renaissance of humanity but present governments resist such change because the old means of governance; repression, false promises and popularity contests are not sufficient to control populations through emergent creativity. For today's governments it will seem easier to deny, pretend, punish and finally abdicate responsibility. People need to take initiative on there won and they need to do so now. There is a great need to defend the earth and our relatives in creation. Stopping uranium exploitation is definitely an important action in defending the earth. The coalitions that are created are nexus of shared knowledge and mutual concern. But simply shutting down the machines, turning off the taps and extinguishing the lights is not enough to meet the challenges of an over consumptive society. We need to reinvent ourselves.
> Last year when I learned that 30,000 acres of our homeland had been staked for uranium exploration with the potential for an open pit mine, my first thoughts were how to protect Algonquin rights and interests. Since then my knowledge and understanding has grown beyond parochial interests to include my non-Algonquin neighbours and a struggle that goes further than mere resistance to colonialism. However my core understanding of what is to be Anishnabeg (human being), my knowledge of the land (aki) and my acceptance of the meaning of creation still inform who I am and what I believe. Going to prison is a small price to pay for one's integrity and even a smaller price to pay for the right to care for the earth, our mother and home to all of our relations. Sacrifice is the work that binds us with the rest of humanity who struggles to preserve their homelands, sustainable cultures and natural justice. As each day passes I believe more and more that to live free, active, intelligent, compassionate lives is our inheritance. Imprisonment is never the end of the struggle for change. It is the beginning of conviction. To be a human being is to find peace and good will taking only what you need and giving back everything.
> I am humbled to be able to share my thoughts with the Citizens' Inquiry and I commend all of you for your hard work and sacrifices bringing this forum to the people.
> Robert Lovelace
> April 7, 2008


Great, thank you for this, LT.


See thread about Lovelace and the KI being released - time served.
Uraniun news reported the judge asked for precedence for fines and long jail terms but couldn't give any prior to Lovelace and the KI

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: livewire ]



Mining deal reached
Native leader criticizes pact as a 'sellout'


After a year and a half of protests against proposed uranium mining north of Sharbot Lake, some aboriginals have struck an agreement with a mining company and the Ontario government to allow exploratory drilling.

Yesterday, representatives for the Shabot Obaadjiwan, the Snimikobi Algonquins, the Algonquins of Ontario, Frontenac Ventures Corporation and the province appeared in Superior Court in Kingston to finalize the details of the deal.

Frontenac Ventures' lawyer, Neal Smitheman, said the agreement means that "some exploration work can be commenced in the future" and that the work "is subject to input from a steering committee being set up as part of the agreement involving both representatives of Frontenac and the Shabot Obaadjiwan."

Another aboriginal group involved in the longstanding protests against the mining proposal is calling the deal a "sellout."

"This is a really good example of how some people sell out," said Bob Lovelace of the Ardoch Algonquins.

The native leader also said people are still concerned about the health and environmental affects of the proposed uranium project and they won't give up efforts to protect the land.

"We'll do what we can to protect our land," Lovelace said.

"We have grave concerns about the environment, health, safety of the people in the area, the local economy, as well as our own uses of that particular land."

Lovelace, a former Ardoch Algonquin First Nation chief and Queen's University lecturer, was jailed for 3 1 /2 months earlier this year for refusing to back down from protesting at the site north of Sharbot Lake.

In June 2007, aboriginal groups, including the Shabot Obaadjiwan and the Ardoch Algonquins, camped outside the gates of an abandoned tremolite mine to protest the fact that Frontenac Ventures had staked claims on an expansive property, located about 90 kilometres north of Kingston.

Frontenac Ventures, an Oakvillebased company, plans to mine uranium from the vast deposits some 200 metres below the surface.

Doreen Davis, chief of the Shabot Obaadjiwan, declined to be interviewed after the conclusion of the court case yesterday. She deferred media questions to her lawyer.

Steve Reynolds, lawyer for the Shabot Obaadjiwan, said Lovelace's assessment of the deal as a sellout is "completely bogus."

"It's not a sellout. In fact ... the consultation that has been undertaken by the parties is a win-win situation for everybody involved," he said.

Reynolds described the agreement as a "balance of rights" and one that takes into account "the interests of everyone."

"There will be drilling permitted on certain specific lands and certain specific lands have been withdrawn [from the designated drilling areas], including some private settler lands," he said.

"There will be a steering committee set up to monitor drilling activities, environment issues, the reclamation and repatriation of the environment and the like."

Furthermore, Reynolds said the agreement protects certain sensitive lands, including those that have aboriginal value, environmental significance and lands that impact upon the local watershed.

"Those lands have been withdrawn from staking, from drilling," he said. "Seventeen claims have been removed from staking and 19 remain for drilling."

Yesterday's deal is the result of negotiations that started last June.

In a statement issued by the government, provincial politicians expressed their support for the agreement.

"I'm pleased all parties were able to find a workable solution that balances the interests of the Algonquin communities and industry while protecting the environment," said Michael Gravelle, minister of Northern Development and Mines.

Brad Duguid, minister of Aboriginal Affairs, said the agreement is "an example of how by working together in a spirit of co-operation and respect" the parties involved were able to "find creative solutions in the face of challenging solutions."


This sucks.  Unionist was right.  Divide and Conquer.

I really feel upset because I really bought in to the fact the Shabot were going to stick by their No Mine No Drill Ever. 

Hawk Sums up my thoughts perfectly in his earlier post.


So nothing in 500 years has changed... the government and those who want to rape and destroy our lands have won.....Hell what was I thinking.


That's very sad, livewire, but you won't be surprised if I say it was predictable.

By the way, I just clicked on:


It appears Shabot is not here any more.


Join M. Spector's tagline [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha]Satyagraha[/url]!

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

"... the consultation that has been undertaken by the parties is a win-win situation for everybody involved... There will be drilling permitted on certain specific lands and certain specific lands have been withdrawn [from the designated drilling areas], including some private settler lands"

So the local "settlers" were taken care of, were they? Divide and conquer is right.

"win-win"? Whenever I hear those words from a lawyer, I know someone is being badly fucked over by someone else with a lot more money and power.

Joey Ramone

They can't be divided unless they let themselves be divided.  The sell-out by the Shabot Algonquins comes as no surprise to those close to this struggle.  The anti-uranium blockade was started by the Ardoch Algonquins and they were always the core of the protests.  Their neighbours, the Shabot Algonquin community, who have a long history of selling out, joined the blockade and loudly proclaimed that they would never surrender.  We knew this was just rhetoric to draw donations from supporters and allies which might otherwise have gone to the very principled, but much quieter, Ardoch Algonquins.   Behind the scenes, since the protests began in 2007, Shabot and their sell-out allies in the Union of Ontario Indians actually lobbied members of the coalition which had come together to support the anti-uranium protests NOT to support Ardoch, on the grounds that Ardoch is a "non-status" First Nation community.  

In February, 2008, as it became clearer that jail time was looming for anyone who continued to protest in defiance of the injunction, the Shabot leaders and their lawyer were already in sell-out negotiotions with the company and the province to save their own necks and line their pockets.  They even had the nerve to denounce Ardoch's Bob Lovelace for "grandstanding" after he kept his word and was sentenced to 6 months in prison.

For Ardoch, the struggle continues.  They always were the quiet, strong core of the anti-uranium protests and their commitment to prevent drilling and mining is as strong as ever.  The sell-out by Shabot hopefully clears the air so that supporters and allies can see who is worth supporting and trusting.  If I had donated to Shabot I'd be wanting my money back. 



I really love native american culture and traditions.  Reading this thread makes me sad.

Joey Ramone

Why sad?  There are crooks and sell-outs in every culture.  There are very few people in any nation, including amongst FNs, who would do what Bob Lovelace and the KI 6 have done. 


I've never walked in their shoes dude I can't judge them. I don't know much about this piticular situation or the events there in. Compromises alwys suck.

I think trying to protect mothernature and preserve the land is noble- Why did that one group 'sell out'? I'm not sure. Maybe they felt the deal offered them was enough of a compromise to protect the land and let them acomplish most or enough of their goals?


Dailies #1 Dec 14 '08


NET NIT: Reader responds to First Nations' deal

"My understanding is that the Shabot Obaajwan negotiated with the
threat of fines and a law suit hanging over them. I understand that
these were dropped as part of the negotiations. I wonder how it is
possible to negotiate in good faith if one of the parties has a big
stick," wrote Eleanor Archer of Wesport, Ontario.

"I have been following the issues related to the exploration for
uranium in the Sharbot Lake Area. I live about a one-hour drive from
there. There are some disturbing aspects to the 'deal' that has been
arrived at. One of them is that the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation that
has been protesting, including one of them serving jail time for these
protests, are not representated by the Chief Randy Malcom who signed
the agreement. This is problematic because the appearance is that the
government chooses to negotiate with those who will go along with
their intentions.

"It also means that the issues that the Ardoch Algonquin have raised
are not being addressed.

Another issue is that when the Shabot Obaadjiwan left the Kingston
Court in the spring, they were being held responsible for $109,000 in
court costs and Frontenac Ventures had launched a $77 million lawsuit
against them. They are not a band that has the financial resources to
face these costs. The Province of Ontario has agreed to pay the
$109,000 to Frontenac Ventures. (see The Frontenac News, Dec 4th,
2008) Again, there is a perception that there has been serious
coersion involved in arriving at this agreement. It suggests that
exploration companies can use the courts to their ends because they
have the financial means to do so. There is also the fact that there
was no open discussion involved in reaching the agreement and the
agreement itself requires the parties to maintain the secretive nature
of the process.

"This 'deal' risks having a long and unhappy history because of the
foundation on which it is based," Archer concluded.