Wednesday, November 2, 2016

No Mining on Barriere Lake Algonquin Lands
Please Support the Land Protection Camp!

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake have set-up a land protection camp at a proposed mining site in the heart of their territory, where core sample drilling is scheduled to begin at any time.The drilling would require construction of access roads and tree cutting, as well as the disposal of drilling debris and waste water. The mining claim covers over 300 square kilometers of Barriere Lake’s land base (see map), which contains the La Vérendrye wildlife reserve. The staked area is abundant with lakes, wetlands and waterways and is an important hunting and fishing area for Barriere Lake families.
The mineral claims were staked under the “fee mining” system without the free prior informed consent of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake. While a number of companies hold mining claims in the territory, it is junior mining company Copper One that holds the largest number of claims and which is planning to do exploration work this fall and winter. This development comes after the company’s claims were suspended by Quebec following Barriere Lakes stating their opposition to mining in the territory. Neither Quebec nor the company gave Barriere Lake any notification of the change in status of the claims.
Please donate at to support the ongoing costs of the community's land protection camp. This camp is the most direct and effective way to support the protection of this ecosystem!
This proposed mining project perpetuates the colonial relationship where Canada, Quebec and private corporations collaborate to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands, means of subsistence and culture.. In the words of elder Michel Thusky, Copper One’s mining project is an attempt “to bury our cultural identity alive under the debris of mining tailings.” By saying no to mining, Barriere Lake is asserting care for Algonquin people, the land, and future generations. The Algonquins of Barriere Lake have consistently opposed mining activity on their ancestral and current-use territory. They assert their rights and jurisdiction in the spirit of co-existence embodied in the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, the 1998 Bilateral Agreement, and subsequent proposals for resource co-management with the federal and provincial governments that have largely been ignored so that our lands can remain “open for business” to unsustainable development. Despite Barriere Lake’s persistent opposition to this work and insistence that this mine cannot go forward, in August 2016 Copper One raised $2.4 million dollars for exploration work.
“We will take all necessary but peaceful measures to protect our waters, lands and wildlife” says Councillor Norman Matchewan. At the request of the community, Barriere Lake Solidarity is fundraising to cover the ongoing expenses of the land protection camp and monitoring of the territory, as well as for any future legal fees, which may be necessary to stop mining exploration and activity on the land. Please give generously at and share our fundraising call widely. All funds raised will go directly to the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, to use towards their efforts to protect the land.