> Subject: Toronto Sun: Natives to camp out at Queen's Park

 
> Subject: Toronto Sun: Natives to camp out at Queen's Park
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>

> Subject: Toronto Sun: Natives to camp out at Queen's Park
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>
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> Natives to camp out at Queen's Park
> 4-day rally for jailed northern leaders trying to halt mining firm
>
> By JONATHAN JENKINS, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU
>
>
> Natives plan a four-day encampment on the grounds of Queen's Park
leading up to the national Day of Action on May 29, hoping to bring
attention to the seven native leaders behind bars on contempt
convictions.
>
> "We're telling everybody that especially for the KI-6, they were
incarcerated for saying no to drilling on our land," said
Kitchenumahkoosib Innunuwug spokesman Susan Nanokeesic.
>
> "Our land is precious to us. It's our livelihood."
>
> Six members of the KI band were convicted of contempt of court in
March after protesting the presence of mining firm Platinex and
sentenced to six months in jail.
>
> Just yesterday Platinex said it was suing the Ontario government for
$70 million, claiming it was unfairly prevented from developing its
claim near Big Trout Lake by the KI First Nation, located 360 km north
of Thunder Bay. It also alleges Ontario failed to properly consult the
band.
>
> Ardoch Algonquin First Nation leader Bob Lovelace, who was convicted
in February, is also serving a six-month jail term for protesting
against a proposed uranium mine. He is now on a hunger strike.
>
> Nanokeesic said she expects at least 3,000 people to join the tent
rally at Queen's Park from May 26-29, including a busload of 50 KI
members.
>
> The four-day tent rally at Queen's Park will include round-the-clock
sunrise ceremonies, drumming, singing and speakers. It all culminates
with the national Day of Action, organized by the Assembly of First
Nations.
>
> The Ontario government has been sharply critical of Ottawa's lack of
urgency in dealing with native land claims in the province, especially
the protracted dispute with the Six Nations in Caledonia.
>
> But Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant, who just announced a
$25-million fund to help bands negotiate with industry and governments
last week, has also been sharply criticized for his handling of the KI
and Ardoch disputes.
>
> Ardoch co-chief Paula Sherman called him a "liar" over his claims
Ontario has bent over backwards in dealing with the band.
>
> Ontario's archaic Mining Act, which dates back 135 years, is a key
issue in both disputes. Premier Dalton McGuinty has promised to rewrite
the legislation.
>
>
> Rainforest Action Network, Organizer
> 415-398-4404 x.310
> 415-720-0080

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