Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Nation Chiefs sentenced to prison

Chief Nelson joining Longest Walk southern route to expose Canada's genocide

Time for Action, not Talk

From Chief Terrance Nelson

Chief Terrance Nelson is taking the position that when Anishinabe people are sitting in jail for defending the resources of their lands from thieves, it is time for First Nations to take action. Today Rachel Ariss writes in the Globe and Mail "As of this week, Chief Donny Morris and five other band council members of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation sit in jail. They were sentenced on Monday to six months in prison by Mr. Justice Patrick Smith of the Ontario Superior Court in Thunder Bay."
Chief Nelson said "Now is not the time to talk about another National Day of Action, we must respond and respond immediately with clear intent to this act of aggression on the part of the immigrants." The Treaties signed with the immigrants were a framework of peaceful co-existence, we agreed to share our lands with the newcomers, we did not agree to impoverish ourselves by giving everything away to the immigrants. Make no mistake, jailing our people is an act of aggression, it is a clear breach of the treaty framework and we as Chiefs of all 633 First Nations in Canada must signal our willingness to go to jail in defence of our right to live in peace and to share in the wealth of our lands.
With crude oil prices at a $107 a barrel and the Alberta Tarsands holding 1.4 to 1.6 trillion barrels of oil, there is no shortage of resource wealth in Canada. We as indigenous people have encountered absolute greed on the part of the immigrants who continue to rob and pillage our people of the wealth of our lands and resources. Americans account for 72% of all foreign investment in Canada. The benefits of the 60 different metals and minerals mined in Canada flow to the immigrants without any regard to the rights of the original owners of the lands and resources. Americans are paying $1.4 billion a day for foreign oil, over half a trillion dollars a year, the fear for US National Security is that Americans paying $4 a gallon are financing future terrorist activity by paying trillions of dollars in the next decade to unstable countries. We as indigenous peoples in Canada must Wake up the Americans, we must collectively take the position that no Canadian oil will flow to the United States without some respect for the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples north of the border and that must be made clear to the Americans.
The time for talk is over if Chiefs and council members are being jailed for defending their right to be consulted and accommodated. The Supreme Court of Canada has already decided in numerous decisions that development cannot take place without the permission of the affected First Nations. To jail our people is not only illegal, it is immoral and it is the first step to ending the peaceful co-existence that the Treaties have brought to Canada. For Canadians to idly stand by and watch a middle-east type of violence come to these lands is beyond stupidity, it is crime against our future generations to disregard the benefits of treaties.
Chief Terrance Nelson will take action by skipping the Treaty Conference in Saskatoon next week as a exercise in futility when the Minister of Indian Affairs has already stated that he has no ability to address the real issues of our people being in jail, joining American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks in the Longest Walk II, the walk across America, where we will take the opportunity to directly tell the Americans what is happening in Canada, taking a position that no pipelines will cross Treaty One Territory until the Crown upholds the law as decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, on the need to consult and accommodate.
The annual $47 billion worth of crude meant for the American market on the Enbridge and TransCanada pipelines will not cross our territory without the Crown fulfilling its duty to consult and accommodate. -American companies doing business in Canada, exploiting our resources, will be forced to tell their share holders the truth of how much risk is involved in jailing the indigenous people. Investment stability in Canada is key to negotiations.
Burning cars on railway lines across Canada is possible. Last year in the National Day of Action, we as chiefs asked Canadians to take seriously the bitterness we felt. We don't want the white man's money, we want a rightful share of our wealth, the wealth of our lands and resources as agreed to in the treaties. We urge Canadians not to allow an end to peaceful co-existence.
Canada is in the "Trillion Dollar Club", the nine richest countries in the world that account for 68% of the world economy. We cannot and will not allow our people to continue to suffer at the 63rd level of the United Nations living index while our resource wealth flows south of the border and seems to benefit only the immigrants to our lands.
For Further Information Contact Chief Terrance Nelson
204-782-4827
chieftnelson@rrafn.com

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