As today’s Day of Action march, from Queen’s Park to Toronto’s waterfront, brings to a close the Gathering of Mother Earth Protectors I am struck by the images and words of grandparents enjoying their rich First Nations culture with grandkids, something residential schools stripped away from them, of course, in their youth. Time and time again, speaker after speaker this week invoked their grandchildren as being uppermost in their mind as they fight to uphold treaty and basic human rights to carry on their way of life on sacred ancestral lands.
A procession of First Nations representatives and settler supporters marched from Queen’s Park to Little Norway Park at Queen’s Quay and Bathurst. Bob Lovelace spoke at the post-march rally just hours after he, along with the “KI-6″, was released from prison.
I’m going to try to be more deliberate in following the issues of aboriginal rights which, frankly, don’t get the detailed national media coverage they deserve.
The summer tourism season will present other opportunities for members, and settler allies, of the Algonquins of the Sharbot Lake area to engage in protest as they act against mining companies and also try to get legislation like the Mining Act revamped.
With Bob Lovelace and the KI 6 in prison, this video is a good primer on the dispute over uranium mining on First Nations’ land north of Kingston and why more settlers need to get involved in getting some action out of our governments.
On my last visit to the Perth area, in Lanark County to the east of Sharbot Lake, it was heartening to see signs of support for the First Nations on lawns and in fields. The same can be said in other counties around eastern Ontario. The mining of uranium is of concern to many people there – native and settler alike.
Here’s a link to the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium
Then there are the on-going disputes over a gravel pit in Tyendinaga (the Deseronto area) and a new settler subdivision on disputed lands of The Six Nations of the Grand River in Caledonia.