Canada - A Mi'kmaq First Nation that encountered violence after it opened a self-regulated lobster fishery says it will launch a series of lawsuits against non-Indigenous fishers for alleged damages incurred by its members. The band also intends to file a constitutional challenge against a provincial law that has prevented the band from selling its lobster catch, Ron Pink, the lawyer for Sipekne’katik First Nation, said Thursday. "We're pursuing injuries to individuals and disruption to their fishing by certain individuals," Pink told a news conference at the band office.
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs has issued an open letter dealing with the misconduct of the RCMP and attempts to absolve its responsibility regarding its forcible intervention against the Wet’suwet’en people in British Columbia on January 7 and its ongoing involvement at the site. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) writes today to rectify the erroneous reports from the DLT regarding actions taken by the RCMP during their enforcement of the interim injunction at the Gidimt’en checkpoint on January 7 and ongoing involvement at the site.
The Wet'suwet'en Nation, which has never ceded its territory, has been working to stop a number of pipelines that Canada wants to build through their territory for the past ten years. This struggle came to a head last week when Canadian police violated their agreement with the Gidumt'en Clan by using violence to remove their blockade and arrest fourteen members. We speak with Jennifer Wickham, who is a member of the Gidumt'en Clan, about what is happening in this pivotal fight to protect the land, water and earth and what can be done to support the Wet'suwet'en People.
By Melina Laboucan-Massimo in Green Peace - After dealing with three decades of intensive oil, gas, logging, fracking and tar sands exploitation in our homeland, my community of Little Buffalo decided to forge a new future and become powered by the sun. First Nation communities have been on the front lines of resource extraction for far too long and we have paid the price for humanity’s addiction to oil, but we have hope for a way out of the crisis we are currently facing in Alberta and around the world. In a community of 500 in northern Alberta, this 20.8 kW solar installation will power the First Nation’s health center, and put additional energy back to the grid. Our community used to be self-sufficient and was able to live off the land. Now the community deals with contaminated water, polluted air and a compromised landscape. In 2011, the community had to deal with one of the largest oil spills in Alberta’s history.
By West Coast Native News - Members of a Vancouver Island First Nation are vowing to risk arrest rather than allow an international fish farming company to anchor an open-net salmon farm north of Tofino. The Ahousaht First Nation say they set up a boat blockade Wednesday at the site of the new farm, owned by Norwegian-based Cermaq. The Ahousaht say the company holds 17 salmon farm tenures in Clayoquot Sound and applied for two new tenures in the same area last year. The First Nation believes the applications signal a new round of fish farm expansion on the West Coast, with the Ahousaht Fish Farm Committee predicting a four-fold increase in the industry over the next 15 years. Protesters oppose any new fish farms in the area.
Steve Fobister Sr., an elder at Grassy Narrows First Nation suffering from mercury poisoning, ended his hunger strike on Wednesday morning. Fobister announced the hunger strike at a news conference on Monday, in Toronto, stating that he hoped his protest would help to draw attention to the issue of mercury contamination in his community. The news conference called on the Ontario and Canadian governments to acknowledge that Grassy Narrows residents continue to suffer from mercury poisoning four decades after a Dryden paper mill dumped the toxin into the Wabigoon-English River system. On Tuesday, Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer issued a statement expressing concern about Fobister's health and promising to "champion a review of the Mercury Disability Board, to determine how best to help those with mercury-related health issues." Grassy Narrows has said many mercury poisoning victims have been denied compensation, partly because the board is using 30-year-old science to determine who is affected and eligible for a claim. Zimmer also said he "agreed the government would explore the options for more on-site treatment for Grassy Narrows First Nation residents" and that he would visit the community on August 6. In a statement posted Wednesday on freegrassy.net, a Grassy Narrows' advocacy website, Fobister said he ended his hunger strike so he could "live and continue to fight for Grassy Narrows, for all aboriginal people, and for environmental justice."