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TURTLE ISLAND, Dec. 16, 2013 – Idle No More and Defenders of the Land networks call on Indigenous Peoples and Canadians to support Indigenous Nations currently engaged in protecting their lands and waters against the corporate-sponsored agendas of the federal and provincial governments. In the past month, the Mi’kmaq of Elsipogtog, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and the Cree of Lubicon Lake Nation have been involved in land protection struggles to defend against invasive extractive natural resource development (natural gas exploration, drilling for oil & natural gas/fracking and clear cut logging) taking place on their territories without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
In each of these land struggles, there are people camping and protecting lands outside in extreme winter weather conditions before the holidays to keep industry activity at bay. Despite weather dipping to -30º C on some days, men, women, children and Elders continue to protect the land to ensure their grandchildren and future generations have something left for their sustenance and livelihood.
We condemn the collusion between the Federal/Provincial governments and corporations who work together to implement economic development plans and activities that disregard the Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights held by Indigenous Peoples.
Sylvia McAdam, an Idle No More organizer stated “we are against shale gas exploration and fracking. We do not support puppet regimes that endorse extractive industry natural resource development on Indigenous lands. We support the FPIC of the Indigenous People’s impacted by extractive resource development on their Indigenous lands.”
Russell Diabo, a member of the Defenders of the Land network, added “the Lubicon Lake Nation protectors are rights holders and are to be commended for their personal sacrifice in camping in the bitter cold to stop unauthorized oil and natural gas development on their traditional lands.”
“The Canadian and provincial government’s current energy and mining policies are designed to destroy the environment. If they are genuinely interested in reshaping Canada’s energy policy in a positive direction they must recognize and affirm Aboriginal and Treaty Rights on the ground,” said Arthur Manuel, a member of the Defenders of the Land network.
[Note: Idle No More and Defenders of the Land are Networks of Indigenous Peoples/Communities and Canadians who are committed to protecting the environment, waters and lands while promoting the sovereignty and rights of Indigenous Peoples and Nations.]
For further information:
Sylvia McAdam, Idle No More: Cell: (306) 281-8158
Russell Diabo, Defenders of the Land: Cell: (613) 296-0110
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