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Ontario: Free indigenous uranium mining activist Robert Lovelace!

category north america / mexico | indigenous struggles | appeal / petition author Friday March 28, 2008 21:01author by Free Will - Common Cause Report this post to the editors

FEBRUARY , 2008- Robert Lovelace, former chief of the Ardoch Lake Algonquin First Nation, has begun a six month jail sentence for his role in peacefully resisting uranium exploration near Sharbot Lake this passed fall. He and his community will also have to pay $35,000 in fines. Frontenac Ventures, A uranium exploration company has claimed 30,000 acres of land in eastern Ontario around the headwaters of the Mississippi system, which feeds the Ottawa River.

Uranium mining poses a serious threat to the integrity of the region's ecology, as well as the health of inhabitants. It also compromises the sovereignty of the Algonquin first nations, threatening to poison their traditional territory, all of which legally belongs to them, and is officially un- ceded to the Canadian government. Uranium is an extremely dangerous radioactive element and its extraction from the earth requires violent destruction: surface stripping, clear cutting, and blasting are all common practices of the process. The residents of the Ottawa valley, from both native and settler populations, have been resisting this unwanted exploitation and are standing in the way of Frontenac Ventures, the Ontario Government, and all those who wish to destroy and exploit the earth for profits.

Grandfather William Commanda and Honorary Chief Harold Perry, respected Algonquin elders, have called for a halt to uranium mining, and many thus interpret resistance to mining as a necessity under Algonquin law.

"I am in a dilemma. I want to obey Canadian law but Algonquin law instructs me that I must preserve Creation. I must follow Algonquin law", declared Lovelace before being taken away in handcuffs. Resistance has been a constant since Frontenac Ventures first began exploration. A drilling site was blockaded by a coalition of Ardoch Algonquins, Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquins, and settler groups for 101 days, and other protests have been numerous. "It is now time to take direct action again to secure the area so that no further encroachment occurs on our ancestral homeland", said Lovelace a few weeks before his trial.

Activists, from both native and settler groups are demanding a complete moratorium on uranium mining in Ontario. The Community Coalition Against Uranium Mining (CCAMU) is the main settler group working against Frontenace Ventures and there destructive enterprise.

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From Linchpin 3, the site of Common Cause. If reprinting articles please include our web address http://www.linchpin.ca

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