The Controversy in Grassy Narrows Heats Up

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Tension continues to mount in Grassy Narrows. We learned over the weekend that four clan mothers in the community have built a wigwam on an isolated logging road in the northern end the community’s traditional land use area in an effort to end destruction caused by industrial development. Read the ceremony notice – 1-6-07-ceremony-notice.pdf and this update, sent by a supporter in Grassy Narrows:

“These 4 Anishinabe women are from Grassy Narrows, Ontario Asubpeeschoseewagong and are so determined to protect the forest that they have committed to spend one night on an isolated logging road to build a wigwam. They are deep in the boreal forest with a small group of supporters/advocates. Throughout this time tonight they are doing a
vigil of prayer by lighting a sacred fire and putting tobacco in that fire. The danger is the possibility of a logging truck plowing through the wigwam. These women are putting their lives in danger.”

Less than a month ago, clan mothers in Grassy Narrows delivered an eviction notice to loggers in Grassy Narrows’ traditional territory.

And just last week we learned that Frank Iaccobucci, a former Canadian Supreme Court justice appointed by the Province to negotiate with Grassy Narrows called for an emergency meeting with the community today, January 7. Iaccobucci is apparently concerned that companies in the region are feeling a lot of pressure from their customers and he wants Grassy Narrows to back off. Grassy Narrows community members have told Iaccobucci that Grassy will not back down until their demands are met, especially the moratorium on all industrial activity in their traditional territory.

As things head up in Grassy Narrows, you can support the struggle for Indigenous land rights by participating in RAN’s international day of action against OfficeMax and Grand & Toy on Jan 30. OfficeMax and Grand & Toy sell millions of dollars of paper products made from trees clearcut on Grassy Narrows’ traditional territory – contact Annie for more information and to get involved.