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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Grassy Narrows organizer at Weyerhaeuser Annual General Meeting

From Grassy NarrowsLast week, Bonnie Swain got in a van with four of her friends and drove more than 2000 miles from her home in Northern Ontario to have just three minutes of face time with Weyerhaeuser, the biggest lumber company in the world. This Thursday, at the company’s Annual General Meeiting, she’ll ask a room full of executives, employees and investors to stop buying wood taken from her homeland without her community’s consent.

Tonight, we’re making sure that Weyerhaeuser gets her message. We’re projecting larger-than-life images of her home on Skyscrapers in downtown Seattle (photos here). One shows what used to be a natural forest near her house.

She tells us about memories of her step-dad, who taught her and her sisters how to hunt, and warned them about the threats posed by increased logging on their land. She talks about the mercury pollution in Grassy Narrows that’s made the fish dangerous to eat and describes sores that her aunt found in the meat of a deer she took last season.

She describes how, when the logging came too close to her community, she and her sister felled trees into the road to prevent trucks from getting through. Both new mothers, Bonnie and her sister feared that their children would grow up unable to hunt, trap or learn about their culture as they had growing up. When loggers moved the blockade, Bonnie convinced her dad to spend the night in his truck telling loggers leaving the forest that they were haruling their last load. Soon friends and neighbors came out to help build more permanent shelters. Today, the blockade remains, but logging continues further to the North. Free Grassy


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