Grassy Narrows Speaking Tour

Posted by admin on Mar 17th, 2007


Saturday March 17th from 5-9 pm
Simon Baker Room, Aboriginal Friendship Center, 1607 East Hastings Street (at Commercial)

Members of the Anishnabek (Ojibway) community of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) will be speaking in Vancouver on Saturday March 17th as part of a speaking tour that aims to educate people about the longest running Indigenous logging blockade in Canadian history.

* Warren Ashopenace is a youth who has been involved in the blockade at Grassy Narrows since day one.  He has traveled across North America, Russia and Sweden to speak about the stand he has taken with his community.

* Gloria Kejick works with the Grassy Narrows Youth Group.  She facilitates activities and assembles resources to support their projects.  Gloria also teaches traditional knowledge and spirituality and works as a counselor for people affected by sexual abuse.

* Maria Swain and her family have been longtime supporters of the logging blockade at Grassy Narrows.  Her daughter and two nieces were arrested this past summer at the blockade on the English River road.  She is an expert fisher.

* SHORT FILM SCREENING: “As Long as the River Flows”, documentary by journalist and filmmaker Dave Clement follows the story of the Grassy Narrows struggle.

Grassy Narrows has been facing extensive clearcutting by Abitibi and Weyhauser for years, after being granted logging rights on Anishnabek lands by Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The cutting violates treaty rights on their use of traditional territories and is part of a forestry practice that is both destructive and a reflection of a historical legacy of colonialism and dispossession of indigenous lands. The Royal Proclamation of 1763, Treaty #3, and the Canadian Constitution all outline the rights of the Grassy Narrows community to their traditional lands. On March 27, 2006 Amnesty International submitted a briefing to the UN claiming that the current resource extraction in Grassy Narrows is a violation of treaty rights and international laws that provide for indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.

On December 2nd, 2002 the youth of Grassy Narrows lay down in the path of industrial logging machines, blocking access to their traditional homeland. An ongoing lawsuit between the members of Grassy Narrows First Nation, the Minister of Natural Resources, and Abitibi-Consolidated claims that the community was not properly consulted or compensated by the company, and that Abitibi’s clear-cut practices are making it impossible for the people of Grassy Narrows to exercise their Treaty 3 right to hunt and trap on their traditional territory. But, more than four years later, logging is still taking place, and the people of Grassy Narrows have called for a complete moratorium on all logging on their traditional lands.

Please join us on Saturday March 17th in welcoming the tour to Vancouver and supporting the tireless and inspiring efforts of the Grassy Narrows community in their struggle against environmental destruction, colonization, and corporate globalization.

Event supported by: Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, Rainforest Action Network, No One is Illegal Vancouver, Amnesty International, Indigenous Action Movement, Redwire Native Youth Media, International Indigenous Youth Conference Secretariat.

CONTACT: or 250-319-0688 or 778-885-0040.
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