December 4, 2002
GRASSY NARROWS FIRST NATION: Standing Their Ground
Dozens of local high school students bearing signs that read “You are on
First Nations land” and “I believe in the Treaty” turned back a logging
from traditional Grassy Narrows First Nation territory Tuesday morning,
At eleven o’clock, on a road used to transport forest resources from Grassy
Narrows traditional land use area to the pulp mill of Abitibi Consolidated,
community leaders and youth explained to truck drivers and Ontario
Provincial Police (OPP) that they have a right to the trees as well, and
that the trees must remain standing.
Accused by a cutting contractor of causing trouble, organizer J.B. Fobister
replied, “What you are doing here is illegal.” Onlookers cried out to
loggers, “Why can’t you go somewhere else? Time to move on!”
Sgt. Bob Neil of the OPP declared, “These people have a right under the
Charter to peaceful protest and the
OPP will not get involved here.”
Over sixty community members are camped at an access road into the Whiskey
Jack Forest and plan to continue their action until Canada, Ontario and
Abitibi include their nation in discussions about how resources will be
extracted from Treatied lands.
Loggers may leave the area but unarmed Grassy Narrows residents are blocking
re-entering vehicles with their bodies.
CPT member Matt Schaaf (Winnipeg) and CPT Manitoba volunteers are
accompanying the peaceful action.