Land Rights Not Mining Rights, Free Robert Lovelace and the KI 6

Land Rights Not Mining Rights Free Robert Lovelace and the KI 6

Wednesday April 9th, 6 pm

@ Ryerson Student’s Union, 55 Gould St (between Victoria and Church), Toronto

Featuring: Ovide Mercredi, former National Chief of the Assembly of First
Nations, and members of the KI and Ardoch First Nations.

In a travesty of justice and a grave assault on Aboriginal rights, seven
Aboriginal leaders are in jail today for upholding indigenous and Canadian
law. In March, Robert Lovelace from Ardoch and Chief Donny Morris of the
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) community, four councillors and one
community member were jailed for six months for contempt of court. In two
separate cases, they refused mining exploration on their traditional lands
without their permission. Additionally, Robert Lovelace and his community have been hit with huge fines.

These Aboriginal leaders were not only protecting indigenous laws, they were also protecting the Canadian constitution as interpreted by the SupremeCourt of Canada, which says that governments must consult with Aboriginal Nations before licensing mining exploration on their lands.


The KI Six arguments that the Ontario government has a constitutional
responsibility to consult with them before issuing a mining permit in their traditional territories were rejected by the court. The judge in the Ardoch case threw out Robert Lovelace’s testimony that he was defending Algonquin Law and responsibilities with respect to human activity in their territory.

“I’m prepared to go to jail for my belief in the land,” said KI Chief Donny
Morris. “This is a land issue based on our sovereignty and I’m prepared to
give myself up if the court decides I’ve disrespected the November ruling to allow Platinex on our land…”

They should not have to go to jail! Premier Dalton McGuinty should withdraw the licenses issued to these mining companies and free Robert Lovelace and the KI 6. The jailing of these leaders is causing terrible suffering and fear in their communities. KI is a remote northern community that has just lost the majority of its leadership and the Ardoch community is facing fines of $50,000. These leaders are also in jail because their communities are poor and cannot afford fines.

“The message delivered through this court decision is one of domination and
oppression,” said Chief Paula Sherman of the Ardoch decision.

Support the right of a community to say NO to mineral exploration and mining projects that threaten the health of people and ecosystems. Replace the antiquated 'free entry' system of mining and exploration with a process that grants exploration permits only after consultation with affected First Nations communities, and consideration of competing land uses and values.

Join us to show support for the Ardoch and KI communities, to protest these
harsh court decisions, and to demand action from Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Location

Ryerson Student’s Union
55 Gould St.
Toronto, ON
Canada
43° 39' 28.9656" N, 79° 22' 43.3524" W
This community event is not affiliated with Faith Connections, but we believe it to be of specific interest to young adults aged 18-39 and with a faith-based or social justice theme. However, we can be mistaken — if you're not sure this event will meet your expectations, please check with the event organizers.