Land Defence Alliance Chiefs Invite Ford to a Formal Meeting Table on the Lawn of Queen’s Park Legislature
Chiefs call on Ford to meet about mining incursions
In an inspiring appeal for recognition and respect, four First Nations Chiefs from Northern Ontario are calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to meet with them face-to-face to address growing concerns about mining incursions on their Indigenous Homelands. The request for a meeting comes after Premier Ford has repeatedly refused to engage with the First Nations leaders on this critical issue, or any issue regarding Indigenous governance of Treaty territories.
Four First Nations — Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation (Grassy Narrows), Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake First Nation), Wapekeka First Nation, and Neskantaga First Nation — represented by their Chiefs have formed a grassroots coalition under the name the Land Defence Alliance (LDA). The LDA has expressed deep apprehension over the mining industry’s intrusion into their Homelands — an intrusion that has been actively encouraged by the Ford government against the First Nations’ clearly expressed objections. Together, these Nations territories cover roughly 60,000 square kilometers of land in Northern Ontario.
In an open letter to Premier Ford, the Chiefs stated, “You want to open up our Homelands to mining, but you won’t meet with us. You won’t even look us in the eye.”
To address this ongoing concern, the Chiefs have extended an invitation to Premier Ford to meet with them on September 26, 2023 at 12:15pm, where they will have a formal meeting table right on the lawn of Queen’s Park Legislature.
The four Chiefs will be seated at the table with a chair awaiting Premier Ford, ready for meaningful discussion and an invitation for Ford to sign a declaration committing to respecting Indigenous rights to reject mining activities on their lands.
Who is the LDA?
The LDA is a collaboration of four First Nations who have signed a mutual cooperation agreement with the intention to stop the unwanted encroachments of settler government and unchecked industry on their territories.
What’s RAVEN got to do with it?
Two of the four First Nations in the LDA are also a part of the RAVEN supported, groundbreaking legal challenge that sees a coalition of ten Nations in Ontario aiming to restore Indigenous governance in Treaty 9 territory. The Breathing Lands Campaign launched in June 2023; amongst the ten co-plaintiffs are LDA members Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake First Nation) and Wapekeka First Nation (not to mention RAVEN’s ongoing support for Neskantaga Nation in a legal challenge that was heard in court earlier this year).
Because of many of the overlapping objectives of the Breathing Lands campaign and the Land Defence Alliance, RAVEN is showing up in solidarity alongside the LDA in whatever ways we can, including Danielle Wilson, our new Executive Director, and Communications Director Andrea Palframan joining over a thousand people at the Land Defence Alliance rally in Toronto on September 27, 2023.
In Toronto? Sign up to attend the rally here: https://freegrassy.net/land-alliance-march/. Stay tuned to RAVEN’s social media on march day for updates & photos.