ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Celebrate 10th anniversary of Grassy Narrow blockade


1 December 2012
ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Celebrate 10th anniversary of Grassy Narrow blockade

   The Grassy Narrows
Drum Group invites you to
join one of many tenth
anniversary celebrations of
Grassy Narrows’ defense of
its territory from logging 
companies December 2!

In late October, Grassy Narrows’ Women’s
Drum Group sent the following open invitation to
celebrate the 10th anniversary of their blockade:

“On December 2nd, 2002, Grassy Narrows
Anishinabe Community Members mobilized in a powerful direct action to stop the
destruction of our way of life and habitat by stopping logging trucks from
entering our territory. Many supporters have joined us in this fight. This
industrial logging was destroying a way of life for our people as they cut
massive areas of our forest against our will and carried our trees off to the
mills since the early 1950s. […] Since December 2002, our community has taken
on this big logging industry. We succeeded in kicking out the world’s largest
paper company – Abitibi – and we are still fighting against other companies
like Weyerhaeuser, which are trying to regain access to our forest. We will continue to fight against this
cultural genocide. Please join
us in celebrating our resistance, our sovereignty, and our action in defense of
the earth.”

Aboriginal Justice Team (AJT) of Christian Peacemaker Teams, in coalition with
Environmental Justice Action in Toronto and other friends of Grassy Narrows across Turtle Island (North
America), took
attentive notice of this invitation and started organizing multiple celebrations
across the continent. In the activist world we are accustomed to organizing in
protest of injustices, so it is exciting to celebrate. It reminds us why we
keep working; because we believe that other worlds are possible, an earth where
a diverse collection of world views live in peace and social justice.

On 2 December
at 2:00 p.m., AJT is organizing a Sacred Fire and a Feast at Queen’s
Park in Toronto, right in front of the Ontario Legislature. Twenty-five
other towns and cities across Turtle Island will be screening ‘As Long As The Rivers Flow: The
Grassy Narrows Blockade Story’ during the same week. Many of these screenings have
been organized by CPT members or former delegates. Gatherings are planned for Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Boston and many more – see this map for locations and more information.

celebration of this important struggle begins in Grassy Narrows itself. After ten years fighting to protect the
land and organizing for self-determination the community has achieved significant goals:

  • continent-wide
    recognition of the fairness of their struggle through education and public
  • scientific
    support for their position on mercury poisoning and logging practices;
  • an Ontario
    Court of Justice ruling that the Ministry of Natural Resources and logging
    companies must respect Grassy Narrows trap lines (which in practice means
    recognition of Grassy Narrows traditional territory);
  • finally,
    but most importantly, the community is recovering their way of life with
    initiatives like the Women’s Drum Group, the Children Drum’s Group, the
    Trapper’s Center and the Wild Rice project.

All this work
has made Grassy Narrows one of the most inspiring initiatives in Turtle Island!

To find a celebration near you,
consult this map. To join a delegation in
2013 to visit Grassy Narrow and hear their story first-hand, consult CPT’s delegations schedule.

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