JB Fobister is a Grassy Narrows member who has been a key part of the community’s work towards self-determination. He sends this message:
Six years ago when we blocked the main logging road near our small community people told us we were crazy to take on two of the largest logging companies in the world. We weren’t crazy, we were just fed up with watching our livelihood, our culture, our medicine, our children’s future – our forests – being carried off our land right before our eyes. We were tired after decades of letter writing, petitions, meetings, protests, speaking tours, legal challenges and rallies, but we refused to give up.
Last night, as I was standing in front of my house looking out at Grassy Lake, it occurred to me that the news I had received a day earlier was something huge. Only at that point did it finally sink in that we had forced AbitibiBowater – the world’s largest paper company – to withdraw from our lands.
I’m really thankful for everybody that made this happen. We couldn’t have done it without everybody’s help over all these years.
I met yesterday with Ministry of Natural Resources regional manager Al Wilcox. His tone was entirely different from past meetings. He said “things will be different from now on.” They sure will be. Grassy will not stop until we are in control of our lands and until our territories have been withdrawn from all clear-cut logging. Our moratorium on industry without our consent still stands, and we will enforce it.
I’m very happy today. People need to hear about what we have done. Then people need to stand up and do something for themselves and for the land too. If Grassy can do it, so can you .