On June 1, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake continued their struggle against mining on their territory as they confronted Copper One($CUO.v) at the company’s AGM in Toronto. Copper One has been attempting to mine on Barriere Lake territory without the community’s consent since they took over mining claims there in 2011. Barriere Lake is firm in their stance that they do not want mining on their territory–much of which is also known as La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve–since it would cause irreparable harms.
The community is party to Bilateral and Trilateral Agreements with the provincial and federal governments that make the need for the community’s say in resource projects clear. However, the Quebec and Canadian governments have not held up their side of the agreements, forcing the community to continue to fight for their right to make decisions about what happens on their territory. Currently, Copper One’s claims are suspended, a status which the company is fighting in court.
Community members have attended Copper One’s AGM in the past, and expressed their opposition to the company’s mining plans. This year, Copper One took a more aggressive approach at the meeting, having called law enforcement which attempted multiple times to forcibly remove community representative Norman Matchewan before and during his statement to the company’s board.
In this episode you will hear drumming from Barriere Lake Youth, followed by a speech Norman delivered in the lobby of the building where copper one was holding their AGM. You will then hear an interview with Norman, and another clip of a speech he gave outside the AGM.
We then speak with Shiri Pasternak of Barriere Lake Solidarity (http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org/) and hear speeches from the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network and Barriere Lake Solidarity.
As this piece was being published, journalist Jorge Barrera tweeted, “Quebec has refused Copper One’s permits to cut down trees in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory, it emerged Thursday evening.” AW@L Radio will follow up with Barriere Lake as the impacts of this news becomes clear. Check http://grandirvermc.ca for updates. (https://twitter.com/JorgeBarrera/status/872976449866747905)
The following audio and interviews were gathered by Rachel Avery on a noisy afternoon in downtown toronto, please enjoy.
From:: Grand River Community News