Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
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A Submission

From the Kawartha World Issues Center

The Kawartha World Issues Center is a community-based, non-profit, charitable global education and resource center serving the Peterborough community and Kawartha region. Our involvement in different issues supports and reflects the interest of community members and current world issues. As an organization, KWIC promotes dialogue and understanding of world issues to enable people to engage in positive social and environmental change.

At KWIC we believe that our very survival depends on each of us learning to live as an integral part of the global ecosystem, and that, socially, economically and environmentally we are all dependent on and responsible for every living thing. In this way, KWIC supports the sustainable and responsible use of land and energy, and the right of self-determination for all Indigenous people. Allowing uranium exploration to occur on indigenous land without consultation is a complete disregard of these principles.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which “recognizes the need to respect and promote the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples, deriving from their political, economic and social structures, and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, and especially their rights to lands, territories and resources,” states that Indigenous communities have the right to maintain and strengthen their relationship with their lands and political, economic, social and cultural institutions. The right and responsibilities to the conservation and protection of their lands, along with the right to consultation and cooperation in good faith on the part of the state are also affirmed in this document.

The government of Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, chose not to sign the declaration on Indigenous Rights, effectively entrenching the colonial legacy of repression and disregard of Native values in Canada. Premier Dalton McGuinty furthers this trend by promoting uranium mining on indigenous lands without meaningful consultation or cooperation. By criminalizing Bob Lovelace, Paula Sherman and the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, the Ontario courts undertake a serious perversion of justice and become complacent with the efforts of the government of Ontario and Frontenac Ventures Co. to put profit before the wellbeing of the environment and the human rights of the Ardoch First Nation peoples.

KWIC calls on the government of Ontario to place a moratorium on uranium mining, commission a review of the Mining Act, release political prisoners and to enter into meaningful dialogue with the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. As a community, it is up to us to approach: Jeff Leal, our local minister of provincial parliament, Michael Bryant, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Premier Dalton McGuinty, as well as George White, president and CEO of Frontenac, Chuck Strahl, federal minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to hold them responsible for these colonial injustices and to demand that the human rights of Native peoples are respected and valued in Canada.

If we are to live as part of the global ecosystem, as KWIC strives towards, in a way that is socially and economically accountable and sustainable, we must not allow our government to legislate the exploitation and suppression of any land or Indigenous person. On behalf of KWIC, I gratefully commend the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation for their leadership, resolve and sacrifice in this difficult struggle, and moving us all towards a more just and sustainable way of life.