8 June 2013
ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Join delegation to sovereign Elsipogtog First Nation 27 September – 7 October 2013
From time immemorial, the peoples of the sovereign Mi’kmaq territory
of Signigtog have lived upon their traditional lands with their own
governments, political systems, language, culture, spirituality, and diverse
means of livelihood. They have never surrendered their sovereignty or
jurisdiction over their lands.
In 1701, the British Crown began to sign Peace and
Friendship Treaties with the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot
First Peoples to end hostilities and encourage cooperation between the British
and First Peoples. The Peace and
Friendship Treaties recognize Aboriginal sovereignty and title to the lands
they traditionally use and occupy. What is now called Crown Land in the Province of New
Brunswick is unceded land and subject to Mi’kmaq jurisdiction.
On 14 May 2012, the Band Council of Elsipogtog First Nation,
a Mi’kmaq community, passed a resolution opposing shale gas exploration and
development within Elsipogtog First Nation and the Province of New Brunswick,
citing concerns about the environment and the need for direct consultation by
the Crown. On 30 May 2013, the
Mi’kmaq Grand Council of the Signigtog District 6 issued a public notice
prohibiting all “shale gas exploration and/or development” without the
“expressed written consent and full participation of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council
and the Mi’kmaq people of the Signigtog District.”
The Elsipogtog First Nation and non-Aboriginal landowners in
Kent County, New Brunswick are fighting to stop shale gas exploration by SWN
Resources. They are concerned fracking will lead to the depletion of
groundwater and widespread water contamination.
On 14 June, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
arrested twelve people who were trying to stop the progress of SWN trucks.
At least thirty-three people have been arrested so far. The police
roughly handled three Mi’kmaq women as they were in the middle of conducting a
ceremony, a serious violation of cultural protocols.
A CPT team has been on site since 30 June 2013.
Explore what it means to live in right relationship with the
earth and each other. Find out
what it means to be an ally to indigenous communities engaged in healing,
resisting colonialism, and struggling to have their sovereignty acknowledged
and respected. From a base in Kent
County, New Brunswick, and visits to Elsipogtog traditional lands, the delegation
will meet with Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders and residents. Delegates will develop an analysis of
colonialism, participate in undoing racism training, plan, and/or participate
in events as allies in the struggle for justice and dignity for Indigenous
This delegation will replace the delegation originally scheduled to go to Grassy Narrows during these dates.
FUNDRAISING EXPECTATION: $625 (Cdn or USD). Delegates arrange and pay for their own transportation to Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.