Grassy Narrows First Nations Victory!

Message From JB Fobister from Grassy Narrows

http://understory.ran.org/

JB Fobister is a Grassy Narrows member who has been a key part of the community’s
work towards self-determination. He sends this message:

Six years ago when we blocked the main logging road near our small community people
told us we were crazy to take on two of the largest logging companies in the world.
We weren’t crazy, we were just fed up with watching our livelihood, our culture, our
medicine, our children’s future – our forests – being carried off our land right
before our eyes. We were tired after decades of letter writing, petitions, meetings,
protests, speaking tours, legal challenges and rallies, but we refused to give up.

Last night, as I was standing in front of my house looking out at Grassy Lake, it
occurred to me that the news I had received a day earlier was something huge. Only
at that point did it finally sink in that we had forced AbitibiBowater – the world’s
largest paper company – to withdraw from our lands.

I’m really thankful for everybody that made this happen. We couldn’t have done it
without everybody’s help over all these years.

I met yesterday with Ministry of Natural Resources regional manager Al Wilcox. His
tone was entirely different from past meetings. He said “things will be different
from now on.” They sure will be. Grassy will not stop until we are in control of our
lands and until our territories have been withdrawn from all clear-cut logging. Our
moratorium on industry without our consent still stands, and we will enforce it.

I’m very happy today. People need to hear about what we have done. Then people need
to stand up and do something for themselves and for the land too. If Grassy can do
it, so can you .

JB Fobister
Ananda Lee Tan
Global Finance Campaign
Rainforest Action Network
221 Pine Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA, 94104
Office: +1 415 408 0440
Mobile: +1 415 374 0615
Fax: +1 415 398 2732
Email: ananda@ran.org
Skype: anandaleetan
Website: www.dirtymoney.org

Hi All,

As most of you know, Grassy Narrows represents the longest standing
(First Nations led) blockade in Canadian activist history. This
represents a massive victory for the First Nations sovereignty movement,
as well as forest defense activism, and clearly demonstrates that the
support for, and solidarity work with Indigenous and other frontline
communities is the best long-term strategy for groups fighting corporate
power!

About 5 years ago, RAN began working in solidarity with the folks at
Grassy Narrows.  RAN campaigned against companies like Boise Cascade and
Weyerhauser who were buying the wood products from AbitibiBowater – the
world’s largest paper company who were logging the forests on
traditional Grassy Narrows’ lands.

Anyway, yesterday Abitibi announced they would give up this forest
license, saying that they couldn’t wait for the result of the
negotiations between the Grassy Narrows First Nations and the Ontario
Provincial Government about the terms of an eco-system based approach to
forest use on their lands.

Huge kudos to the Grassy Narrows activists – please spread the word!

“RAN Welcomes End of Clear-Cut Logging on Grassy Narrows Traditional
Territory

SAN FRANCISCO – Rainforest Action Network (RAN) praised the decision of
logging company AbitibiBowater-the largest paper company in the world-to
stop logging on the traditional territory of Grassy Narrows First
Nation. The move follows decades of lawsuits and peaceful protest by the
First Nation.

Long-time activist and RAN campaigner David Sone issued the following
statement:

“We are thrilled for the Grassy Narrows community that their
forests-which are key to their livelihood and culture-will no longer be
clear-cut against their wishes. The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples clearly establishes that resource extraction on
Indigenous lands must have the free, prior and informed consent of the
community.

“Grassy Narrows has scored a major step forward for Indigenous rights.
We’re calling on all companies to follow suit and respect the rights of
Indigenous peoples to give or withhold consent to industrial projects on
their traditional territories.”

Since 2003, RAN has worked collaboratively with the community,
pressuring Boise Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Corp. to drop their logging
contracts with AbitibiBowater for wood logged in the million-acre
Whiskey Jack Forest, which makes up Grassy Narrows traditional
territory. A broad coalition of human rights, environmental and
faith-based groups has rallied behind the community’s cause.”

Ananda Lee Tan

Global Finance Campaign

Rainforest Action Network
221 Pine Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104 USA
Phone: + 1 415 659 0550

Cell: + 1 415 374 0615
Fax: + 1 415 398 2732

Email: ananda@ran.org <mailto:ananda@ran.org>

Skype: anandaleetan

RAN Website: www.ran.org <http://www.ran.org>

Campaign Site: www.dirtymoney.org <http://www.dirtymoney.org>

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