The Six Kitchenuhumaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) leaders jailed in March for defending their land were conditionally released on Friday, pending a court appearance in the Ontario Court of Appeals on May 28.
“We are ecstatic about the release of the KI Six and we can’t wait to welcome home this evening,” said KI Counc. Susan Nanokeesic in a Friday Press Release. “The community is very excited and is busy making preparations to celebrate their release.”
And celebrate they did. It looks like the whole community showed up to welcome them back.
Unfortunately, “they will have to report back to jail on May 29 unless there’s a further order from the court,” says lawyer Chris Reid.
“The decision [on Friday] changes nothing. The only way these people are going to be able to get out of jail, stay out of jail, is if the government of Ontario recognizes the right of these communities to say no to mining on their land…”
“We’re asking the Court of Appeal to send a message to the government that they need to change the mining law or this is going to happen over and over and over again,” Reid said.
“They either have to amend the Mining Act or build a prison for political prisoners, because that’s what we’re going to be doing in Ontario if (Premier) Dalton McGuinty doesn’t take steps to change this 19th-century Mining Act.”
In case you were thinking the KI were just going to sit around for the next week… they’ve actually joined up with Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows) for a four day “Gathering of Mother Earth Protectors” at the Queen’s Park in Toronto, ON.
Visit gatheringofmotherearthprotectors.blogspot.com for an overview of what’s happening, what you can do to help, and what you need to know if you want to participate.
Gathering of Mother Earth Protectors–Toronto, Queen’s Park May 26th – May 29
Toronto, Queen’s Park May 26th – May 29.
*Rally: * Queen’s Park May 26th, 5 p.m. – dusk.
*Respect the right of First Nations to say no to economic exploitation and environmental destruction. No jail for saying no. Free Bob Lovelace and the KI Six.*
On May 26th Indigenous communities will gather at Queen’s Park to uphold our duty to protect the land, forest, water, and air and to promote respect for our Indigenous rights to say no to economic exploitation and environmental destruction. It is time to end the jailing and harassment of our people for protecting mother earth and traditional ways.
Please come to our large rally on May 26th at the legislature.
We are also inviting supporters to join us in four days of ceremony, speakers, workshops, music, and a three night sovereignty sleep-over directly on the front lawn of the legislature.
Right now Indigenous communities across Ontario are taking a stand to assert our right to protect our traditional territories and the future of our peoples. Our communities are peacefully protesting destructive industrial projects that the government is permitting on our traditional lands without community consent. * *
Rather than respecting Treaties of co-existence and the UN recognized Indigenous right to withhold consent over industrial projects on traditional lands, the Ontario government is harassing Native people and jailing community activists and leaders including Bob Lovelace, Donny Morris, Sam McKay, Jack McKay, Cecilia Begg, Darryl Sainnawap, Bruce Sakakeep, and others. This cannot stand!
Please join us in supporting freedom for First Nations and respect for the land. *NO CONSENT means STOP the DESTRUCTION to MOTHER EARTH!*
*We Need:* volunteers, donations of money, food, tents, blankets, billeting, endorsements, and publicity.
** Please let us know if your group wants to organize an event during the Gathering on May 27, or May 28.
*To help out, or for information updates contact:* email@example.com
Supporters: come prepared to take care of your own needs and to take direction from the communities. This is an event of: *Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation)* [others may join soon].
*Endorsers:* Christian Peacemaker Teams, Rainforest Action Network, No One is Illegal Toronto, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Labour Congress [others will confirm soon].
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.