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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Grassy Narrows-Withdraw or face fierce campaign.

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Background from Turtle Island Site
American Dream: First Nation’s Nightmare

In the 1990s Weyerhaeuser fiber-supplier Abitibi dramatically increased logging rates in Grassy Narrows without the consent or proper consultation of the community. According to a report by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Abitibi cut almost all of the remaining endangered woodland caribou habitat between 1999 and 2004 and regularly clear-cuts huge tracts of land, sprays the land with pesticides, and replants with monoculture tree plantations.

According to plans filed with the Ontario Ministry of Forests in 2003, Abitibi-Consolidated and Weyerhaeuser will continue their clear-cut logging operations within the community’s traditional territory through at least 2009, and have requested an extension to log through 2024.

Nearly half of this wood will supply Weyerhaeuser’s Trus Joist/ Timberstrand mill and will be used widely by American homebuilders, the US building industry and by Weyerhaeuser’s own home-building subsidiaries to build American tract homes in suburbs throughout the US.

Most of the remaining wood taken from Grassy Narrows territory is used by Abitibi-Consolidated to manufacture Abitibi paper products. Abitibi newsprint is used for hundreds of newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Grassy Narrows First Nation

The people of Grassy Narrows First Nation have lived on 2,500 square miles of land north of Kenora, Ontario for thousands of years. Nearly 50% of the community still sustain themselves from the land by hunting, trapping, and gathering medicine and berries. The old-growth habitat provided by these areas also support animal species like the pine martin and woodland caribou critical to the ecological integrity of the area.

More background at Turtle Island

Letter to Weyerhaueser, Abitibi, Their Customers, Investors and Bankers-February 2006
Cease and Desist All Logging and Industrial Resource Extraction on our Territory

For many years our people have suffered from a forced industrial invasion of our forest homeland. Our forests have sustained us for thousands of years, but industrial exploitation of these once rich forests, lakes and rivers has poisoned our waters with mercury and other toxins, nearly eliminated our ability to practice our way of life, and robbed us of economic opportunities. We are not consenting to the clear cutting of our tradional lands, which is a continued assault on our culture, our way of life, and indeed our very existence. Leave us alone, let us use our land how we want to use it, let us feed our people how we want to feed them, and then our people will become strong again.

On December 2nd, 2002, we, the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation, started a blockade in our traditional territory that still stands strong today. This letter is your final official notice that you are taking part in the destruction of our homeland against our will. You have been given fair warning that this destruction will not be tolerated. We order you to immediately cease and desist from all logging and industrial resource extraction on our territory. Terminate all logging, buying, selling, investing, financing and profiting from the destruction of our homeland by Weyerhaueser and Abitibi corporations and their subsidiaries. No development will occur on our territory without the full, free, prior and informed consent of our community.

If you choose to continue engaging in, or profiting from, the destruction of our homeland, know that you will face a fierce campaign on all fronts-in the woods, in the streets, in the marketplace, in your boardrooms, and in the media.

The entire letter can be read at the following link
Grassy Narrows Letter pdf

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