July 20 – Algonquin blockade Updates

July 20 – Algonquin blockade Updates

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July 20, 2007

Algonquin Representatives and others opposed to Uranium mining in the Sharbot Lake area met this week with representatives from the mining company. Clearly, Frontenac was hoping to buy the Algonquins out, but financial offer was flat out rejected. A Letter sent out by Janie Jamieson puts it all into perspective…

“No amount of money can ever compensate them for the likelihood of death, cancer, mutated births, still births, sterilization and other health risks that will arise as a direct result of uranium mining.

The health risks are too great for our future generations. The environmental damage will be substantial and unstoppable. Why take the risk with any of our children? The responsibility of our people is to maintain life for our future generations. That’s all aspects of life. The plant life, animal life and human life. We are born with a responsibility to protect life, no matter what the cost is to us.

The Algonquins need our support as they are undertaking a HUGE responsibility. They are fighting to protect practically the whole watershed of Northeastern Ontario. Everyone connected to that watershed will benefit, when the Algonquins are successful.

When asked about the financial offer one Algonquin stated, “…we can not be bought. (the land repatriation is) Not about money…”

From the Kingston Whig Standard – First Nations’ representatives and others opposed to uranium mining in the Sharbot Lake area met this week with representatives of the mining firm, but the 2 1/2-hour session didn’t persuade the aboriginals to lift a blockade off mining company property.

On Tuesday, in a community hall just off Highway 509, Frontenac Ventures Corporation and opponents of uranium exploration and mining faced each other for the first time, with staff from the provincial Ministry of Northern Development and Mining present as observers.

The company has staked more than 400 claims on about 8,000 hectares of land in the Frontenac area and has set up offices at an old tremolite mine on Highway 509. Company workers left the offices temporarily in late June – just before the National Day of Action for First Nations – and, on June 28, the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan, or Sharbot Lake, Algonquins moved in.

The First Nations say it’s their intention to stay at the site until the province declares a moratorium on uranium mining. They say they are concerned over environmental and health risks from mine tailings – but also that they believe the land is theirs. The Algonquins are engaged in land-claim negotiations with the province over a wide tract of land through the Ottawa Valley. Provincial legislation prohibits mineral collection on native reserves.

Many non-native residents of the area have joined forces with the First Nations protesters and have participated in two marches along Highway 7 this month. (source)

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