Standing With Kawartha Nishnawbe Land Defenders

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Kawartha Nishnawbe Response to Parks Canada’s Move to Illegally Damage Our Lands

The Governing Council of Kawartha Nishnawbe hereby unanimously calls on all our members to support and join a peaceful blockade to protect our lands and our homes from Parks Canada as they attempt to illegally undertake a massive demolition and construction in Burleigh Falls without consulting us.

Only last week we became aware of plans by Parks Canada to demolish and rebuild the dam at Burleigh Falls. This project will certainly have a huge impact on the people of Kawartha Nishnawbe, yet we were never consulted. Through our legal counsel we have written to Parks Canada to demand consultation on this project, but they have refused. This means Parks Canada is acting illegally.

When the dam was first built in 1912 it caused the forced relocation of Kawartha Nishnawbe’s people from their homes on Island 31 to our present homes in Burleigh Falls as the Island was cleared for camps for the dam construction workers. Kawartha Nishnawbe has never been compensated for the theft of our land and we have been treated as nothing more than “squatters” in our own land ever since.

In 2002 the Ontario Court of Justice ruled in the case of R. v. Johnson that Kawartha Nishnawbe is indeed a Mississauga community with Treaty rights under the Treaty of 1818. In another case (Lovelace) the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that Kawartha NIshnawbe is a Mississauga community with traditional form of governance which has experienced “layer upon layer” of oppression and exclusion. Canada has ignored these rulings and continued to act as if Kawartha Nishnawbe does not exist.

We say, enough is enough. As a Treaty First Nation community, the law is very clear: Canada has a solemn duty to consult with Kawartha Nishnawbe before undertaking or approving any project which could impact on our rights. Parks Canada is clearly acting illegally by refusing to consult with us.

Kawartha Nishnawbe will not stand by and watch as our lands and waters are illegally damaged by Parks Canada.

We demand that all construction stop immediately and we further demand that Parks Canada comply with the law of Canada and engage in thorough consultations with Kawartha Nishnawbe. We will not allow this project to proceed in violation of the law and our rights

By signing our petition, you are supporting our community by taking a stand with our Land Defenders, and you using your voice to speak out against the mistreatment of our First Nations people.