First Nations leaders to be released from prison: Attorney-General
Canwest News Service Published: Friday, May 23, 2008
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TORONTO — Six First Nations leaders will be released from prison today
after serving more than two months for ignoring a court order to allow a
mining company to drill on their traditional territory, a spokesman for
Ontario’s Attorney General confirmed Friday.
Six members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation will
be back home by this evening after a court granted a motion for a stay
pending the appeal of their six-month sentence for contempt, said KI
spokeswoman Susan Nanokeesic.
“We are so happy, it’s overwhelming,” Ms. Nanokeesic said. “This is good
The appeal is to be heard Wednesday in Toronto.
The jailing of the leaders in March for disobeying a court order
allowing Platinex Inc. to conduct exploratory drilling has drawn harsh
criticism from Canadian authors and activists.
Most recently Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty
a letter decrying their incarceration as “appalling.”
Earlier this week, Platinex announced it has launched a $70-million
lawsuit against the province. The company said it has suffered
“substantial wasted expenditures” because it has been unable to gain
access to the land near Big Trout Lake in northern Ontario because of
actions by KI.
Platinex claims the Ontario government failed in its duty to consult
with KI and also failed to warn the company it would not enforce its