Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Prayer for the Land - Ardoch Algonquin First Nation

Ardoch Algonquin First Nation manomin (wild rice) celebration 2004:
photo by Kevin Wright
The momentum is building for one of the most important expressions of spiritual reconciliation. All peoples are united in our dependency on the land. People of every faith recognise their sacred responsibility to care for the earth. On October 25th and 26th, the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation is inviting people of all faiths to join them in praying for their homeland which has been seriously harmed by uranium exploration.

If you have ever felt the need to speak up for creation and seek justice for people who live close to the land please come to Robertsville Ontario. If you can't come out to the land please encourage your faith community to remember the Ardoch struggle when you gather on the last weekend of October.

For information contact (retired chief) elder Robert Lovelace, 705-748-9685 or and see the Algonquin Uranium Defence website. Earlier this year Robert and others were sent to the penitentiary by the Ontario government for peacefully protesting invasions of traditional land, without consultation, by mining companies; the Court of Appeal later ordered his release but the obsolete Mining Act remains in force because the government is afraid to offend the powerful mining/investment/commodities trading lobby. In March, six Cree Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) elders were jailed in a similar case: see the KI Friends' blog. By no coincidence, Canadian mining companies, aided by the federal government, have been writing similar laws into binational trade agreements outside Canada, e.g. in Colombia (see below*). US citizens will recognize parallels with 'eminent domain' law and worldwide piracy of the commons by corporations.

For deeper research on these issues: Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR), the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) the interchurch Kairos documents on
Canadian mining companies, and on aboriginal rights. Also MiningWatch, the Council of Canadians, Corpwatch, and Sourcewatch.

In Canada, the Quaker
QAAC send regular emails on native issues. The Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network (ARSN) and ACIC have newsletters on aboriginal rights, and international aid. The Saskatchewan Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative (ICUCEC) continues its work. Tar Sands Watch reports impacts on Alberta natives; and the Western Mining Action Network on those in BC. Other First Nations websites across Canada can be located via the Aboriginal Community Portal. The Canadian Centre for Policy Analysis (CCPA) has published numerous in-depth studies of aboriginal and class exploitation. Mining is only the tip of the iceberg; the five-century-old colonial relationship is perpetuated by broken government promises, underfunding and delays, road, hydro and forestry industries among others. Sacred sites, native land and native rights are overridden as by conquerors.

*Native protests against government neglect and violence linked to mining co's in Colombia 12-22 Oct 08. Several killed, many wounded.

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