RAN’s international day of action for Indigenous rights is gaining steam! As of today, January 16, activists in 27 cities in the United States and Canada are planning actions at their local OfficeMax and Grand & Toy locations to demand that the companies publicly support a logging moratorium in Grassy Narrows.
We are really excited to see our plans for an international day of action come together, and we are even more excited when an ally organization wants to lend their support, without us even having to ask.
The East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), an organization based out of Oakland, California that works to promote economic and social justice for working families, contacted us earlier this week wanting to help. They buy paper through OfficeMax and wanted to find a way to support our campaign against OfficeMax here in the Bay Area. Because we aren’t calling for a complete boycott of OfficeMax products, (yet) EBASE offered to send a letter to their contact at OfficeMax pressuring them to support a moratorium in Grassy Narrows. I’ve pasted the letter below, with the name of OfficeMax’s account manager removed.
Thanks to EBASE for supporting Grassy Narrows and the struggle for a logging moratorium on their traditional territory!
Dear [Account Manager]:
I am writing on behalf of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy. As you may be aware, we have a corporate account with Office Max. While we have long been satisfied customers, we are extremely concerned about amatter related to OfficeMax’s sourcing of paper products. You may not be aware that Boreal forests within the traditional territory of Grassy Narrows First Nation, an indigenous community in northwest Ontario, are being clear cut to provide pulp for paper products sold at OfficeMax. As a loyal customer, we are writing to ask OfficeMax to support a fair and equitable resolution to the concerns being raised by community leaders in Grassy Narrows.
We understand that Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is working closely with Grassy Narrows leaders to ensure that the community’s rights and interests are known and respected in the marketplace. Specifically,
RAN is working to promote a solution to concerns in Grassy Narrows through engagement with businesses like OfficeMax and others that hold influence over policymakers and upstream manufacturers of wood and paper products. We applaud RAN’s efforts to resolve this situation.
We request that OfficeMax, as major paper buyer and critical stakeholder in this matter, play an active role to ensure that policymakers follow through on recent commitments. Specifically, we urge OfficeMax to issue a public statement in support of Grassy Narrows’ call for a “moratorium on further industrial activity in our Traditional Territory until such a time as the Governments of Canada and Ontario restore their honor and obtain the consent of our community in these decisions that will forever alter the future of our people.”
As a dedicated OfficeMax customer, we are requesting that you pass on these concerns to the company’s decision-makers and to encourage them to support Grassy Narrows. We are calling on Officemax to honor its “total commitment to customer satisfaction” by standing behind Grassy Narrows First Nation. We request that you respond to this letter so we can assess our continued relationship with OfficeMax.
I am happy to speak with you to address any questions or concerns that this letter may raise. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
CC: Rainforest Action Network