ASUBPEESCHOSEEWAGONG: CPT announces Aboriginal Justice delegation to Northwestern Ontario 16-26 August 2007
26 May 2007
ASUBPEESCHOSEEWAGONG: CPT announces Aboriginal Justice
delegation to Northwestern Ontario 16-26 August 2007
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is seeking participants for a delegation
that will begin in the First Nations community of Asubpeeschoseewagong
(Grassy Narrows) and conclude in the nearby northwestern Ontario town of
In 1999, the Ontario government granted a 20-year license to Abitibi
Consolidated allowing them to clear-cut Asubpeeschoseewagong traditional
lands. Grassy Narrows community members started blockading Abitibi logging
contractors in November 2002 with CPT accompaniment through that winter.
While the threat of blockade protects the southern part of the traditional
land use area, Abitibi continues to clear-cut the northern part in defiance
of a moratorium against logging declared by the community in February 2007.
While Abitibi recently closed its paper mill in Kenora, it continues to
supply a Kenora Weyerhauser factory (Trus Joist) that manufactures a widely
used Weyerhauser product called Timberstrand. Nearly 50% of
Asubpeeschoseewagong territory has been clear-cut, further destroying
traditional hunting, trapping, food and medicine gathering activities.
Kenora (pop.16,000) is an important regional center for thirteen Anishinaabe
communities who are members of the Grand Council Treaty 3. Situated on the
rocky shores of Lake of the Woods, Kenora's economy is sustained by summer
tourism and resource extraction. A strong sense of division exists between
non-aboriginal and aboriginal residents and visitors, with aboriginal
residents and visitors frequently experiencing racially-based mistreatment.
A large population of aboriginal street people is often a vulnerable
target. Concerned members of the community have recently been organizing to
improve the situation.
The delegation will spend time on traditional Asubpeeschoseewagong
territory, document the effects of clear-cutting and learn about Anishinaabe
struggles for justice. In Kenora, the delegation will meet with aboriginal
and non-aboriginal community leaders who are working to improve relations
between non-aboriginal and aboriginal residents. Delegation members will
develop an analysis of colonialism, participate in undoing racism training,
and plan a public witness/direct action focused on Aboriginal sovereignty
CPT is a faith-based group that seeks participants who are interested in
human rights work, committed to nonviolence, and willing to participate in
team worship and reflection. Delegates should be prepared to spend time
outdoors or camping under rustic conditions in unpredictable weather. They
should have plans to share about the trip upon return to their home
communities and congregations.
Delegates make and pay for their own travel arrangements (flying into
Winnipeg, Manitoba or driving directly to Kenora) and raise $400 Canadian
($350 US) to cover on-ground travel, two meals a day, simple accommodations,
honorariums and program costs.
For more information or to apply, contact CPT, (PO Box 6508, Chicago, IL
60680; phone 773-277-0253; fax 773-277-0291; e-mail email@example.com) or
see CPT's website at: http://www.cpt.org/. (Click on "delegations" for
instructions on downloading the application form.) PLEASE APPLY BY JULY 15.