IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 31, 2013
Grassy Narrows rejects Forest Management Plan for the Whiskey Jack Forest 2012 – 2022 on the basis of failure to consult and infringes on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
Today Grassy Narrows Chief and Council sent an open letter to Premier Wynne rejecting Ontario's Forestry Management Plan 2012 - 2022 for another decade of clear-cut logging on Grassy Narrows Territory. The Forest Management plan for the Whiskey Jack Forest 2012-2022 is in the final stages of approval and is currently posted for public comment.
The plan sets out a schedule to clear-cut much of what little mature forest remains on Grassy Narrows Territory after decades of large scale industrial logging. This will further erode the Aboriginal, Treaty Rights and the ability of the community to sustain their families and to practice their culture through fishing, hunting, trapping, medicine harvesting, ceremony and healing for all generations.
"Premier Wynne, it is within your power to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated at the expense of another generation of Grassy Narrows children," said Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister. "I call on you to ensure that never again will Ontario attempt to force decisions on our people and our lands."
Premier Wynne visited Grassy Narrows in the summer of 2012 as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, saying that she wanted to rebuild Ontario's relationship with Grassy Narrows to "get it right." Instead Ontario has unilaterally pursued this clear-cut logging plan against the will of the community without consent
"This document attempts to make plans to clear-cut log the lands that we use to feed our families and practice our culture. We cannot allow this," said Grassy Narrows hunter Joseph Fobister. "For centuries we have raised our voices to protect our rights and our land. But Ontario and Canada continue to ignore us with devastating consequences for our people."
We do not accept any application of this plan to our traditional lands. The Chief and Council along with community Elders stand united on this issue and are determined to protect the community’s way of life; Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
CONTACT: Chief Simon Fobister (807) 407 0170
JB Fobister (807) 407 2745