“Will you show our First Nations the basic respect of meeting with us?”
Indigenous Homelands in Northern Ontario: Today four First Nations Chiefs are calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to meet with them face-to-face in front of the legislature next Tuesday and to sign a declaration committing to end mining activity on their Homelands against their will. The First Nations have formed a historic Land Defence Alliance uniting to defend their way of life, their people, their land, and their freedom in the face of increasing incursions from the mining industry. The Ford government has encouraged expansion of industrial mining across the north, on the land where these First Nations have lived for countless generations. Ford has refused to meet with the Chiefs to date.
“We are deeply concerned about encroachment by the mining industry on our Homelands which you and your government have encouraged against our will,” wrote the four Chiefs. You want to open up our Homelands to mining, but you won’t meet with us. You won’t even look us in the eye.”
“It is not too late for you to do the right thing. We invite you to meet with us on September 26th at 12:15 p.m., face to face, on the lawn of Queen’s Park. We are calling on you to sign a declaration in front of our people committing that you will respect our Nations’ right to say ‘no’ to Mining. We will be there at the table ready to meet. Will you show our First Nations the basic respect of meeting with us?”
On Tuesday, September 26th a formal meeting table will be set up in front of Queen’s Park with seats for each of the four First Nations and for Premier Ford. The Chiefs will be seated at the table prepared to meet with Ford.
The following day, on September 27th hundreds of the members of these First Nations will travel thousands of kilometers to march with thousands of supporters in Toronto calling on Ford to respect the right of the First Nations to to control their lives and to protect their lands.
“We are the original people of these lands. Our nations have been here for countless generations and long before Ontario existed. Our people continue to love our land, to drink the water, eat the fish, gather medicines, and hunt to feed our families,” wrote the Chiefs.