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KI's fight against mining continues.

Update from Toronto KI Support, March 8, 2012

When the mining trucks come to rip up the land
What part of No don't you understand?
When armed guards are what you've got planned
What part of No don't you understand?
You're poisoning the the water, the plants, and the land
What part of No don't you understand?
KIs here, you gotta meet their demands!
What part of No don't you understand?

Toronto -- On Monday, March 5, nearly 150 people gathered in a packed hall in downtown Toronto to hear KI Elder Mary Jane Crow, KI Councilor Cecilia Begg, KICouncilor Randy Nanokeesic, Steven Chapman - KI Lands and Environment Unit, and Richard Anderson, KI Watershed Coordinator. In a hushed room, the community leaders declared their relentless commitment to protecting their sovereinty and their territory.

On Tuesday, March 6, KI community leaders were at a rally at the Prospectors and Developers of Canada's annual convention to demand that Ontario and GLR cease mining. Joined by Sid Ryan from OFL, Maryam Adrangi from Council of Canadians, Ramsay Hart from Mining Watch, Shane Moffat from Greenpeace and Krisna Saravanamuttu from CFS-Ontario, the KI Leaders spoke in front of a 30 feet banner that declared, "Protect KI Sacred Lands".

These actions, organized by Toronto KI Support, came after days of intense maneuvering by God's Lake Resources Inc. and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

On Saturday, March 3, God's Lake Inc., issued a press release announcing a 3,000 metre diamond drill program. Ominously, the press release stated "The Corporation is also canvassing Security Companies to ensure the smooth completion of the drill program." KI's Chief Donny Morris responded in a statement saying, “We are mobilized to go to Sherman Lake to protect our land. I cannot allow our graves to be desecrated by a company that is hiring private security to trespass on our Homeland by force. That is no way to do business”.

Then on Sunday, March 4, in an extremely rare and unilateral move, Ontario wanting to avert the PR disaster the events in Toronto would mean, withdrew 23,181 sq km of land in KI Homeland from mining exploration in response to KI’s longstanding decision to place a full moratorium on industry in their Indigenous Homeland. The pres"s release by Rick Bartolucci's office accepted that "KI asserts jurisdiction over the land". KI Councillor Cecilia Begg responded on Monday in Toronto saying, "These are our lands, Ontario has no right to take them or give them back."

That Ontario is willing to put out Sunday press releases to stop mining in massive parts of the province is proof that the KI efforts are having an impact. The struggle, however, is far from over.

The claims and leases at the heart of KI’s conflict with GLR are unaffected by ON’s move and the dispute over protection of burials and sacred landscape remains unresolved. Any day now GLR Inc. could begin exploration in KI which could give rise to immediate action by the community. Chief Donny Morris is already at the site in Sherman Lake and issuing short Youtube reports (See the first one: http://youtu.be/HO6LHL6seps)

In Toronto, where the headquarters of the company, and the government officials responsible are located, a movement is growing to support KI Nation's struggle to assert over sovereignty over their lands. The Toronto KI Support committee formed after a call by No One Is Illegal - Toronto, is now a network of grassroots activists that have worked to build education and awareness on KI issues across the city. We organized a successful phone campaign against Rick Bartolucci, the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and have been doing targeted postering to ensure that GLR and Ontario mining bureaucrats know they are being watched.

Now - as KI leaders return to their homeland - we in Toronto will be waiting for direction. If a blockade goes up in KI, we will work to make their effects felt in Toronto. If God's Lake tries to force itself on KI territory and if Ontario remains silent, we will take mass, public action in Toronto to stop them. To make sure you can join us, please sign up for email updates at www.KILands.org and "Like"www.facebook.com/TorontoKISupport.

If you are interested in coming to meetings and support the organizing, please emailTorontoKISolidarity@gmail.com

Until all are free,
Toronto KI Support.

VIDEO/PICTURES

* Video: Short doc on KI's struggle by Praxis Pictures: http://youtu.be/qXrjcRnaxxs(launched March 5th)
* Video/Pics of KI's rally on March 6: http://allan.lissner.net/pdac-protests/
* KI's response to Ontario government's withdrawal: http://youtu.be/v1-kxRuQkXg
* Toronto MediaCoop: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/ki-first-nation-mobilizes-block-mining...
* For more pictures and videos, visit: www.facebook.com/TorontoKISupport

SOME MAINSTREAM MEDIA COVERAGE

CBC: Mining company vague on plans despite protests
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/story/2012/03/06/tby-ki-protest-at...

Toronto Star: Ontario to protect 23,000 square kilometers of native land from mining
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1141393--ontario-to-...

Financial Post:PDAC 2012: Ontario tries to avoid PR disaster with First Nations
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/05/pdac-2012-ontario-tries-to-...