Monthly Archives: October 2010

Leak Reveals Push to Win Over First Nations on Controversial Boreal Forest Pact

By Martin Lukacs. Martin is a member of the Dominion editorial collective and the Montreal Media Co-op, where this story first appeared.

TO READ THE LEAKED EMAIL: HERE

TO READ THE LEAKED DOCUMENT: HERE

Clear-cutting in the Alberta Boreal forest. Opposition to the CBFA among First Nations is mounting.

A leaked document and email obtained by the Montreal Media Co-op shows that major environmental organizations are engaging in damage control while speedily attempting to court First Nations’ support for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA). The revelation comes amidst mounting opposition from aboriginal organizations, many of which are decrying the agreement as fundamentally flawed. The much-hyped pact between major forestry companies and environmental organizations claimed to suspend logging on 29 million hectares of boreal forest and caribou habitat for three years in exchange for an end to the environmentalists’ global boycott campaigns.

The email–sent at the end of a meeting with some First Nations groups last week in Prince George, British Columbia–was written by Larry Innes, Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative, and Faisal Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation. It describes a forthcoming First Nations “Declaration on the Boreal” and a letter of understanding (LOU) that lays the groundwork for First Nations cooperation with the CBFA. Read the rest of this entry

Sinixt Nation Establishes Slhu7kin Protection Camp

From the Vancouver Media Co-Op.

On October 26th 2010, the Sinixt Nation asserted their sovereignty by initiating the Sinixt Slhu7kin (Perry Ridge) Protection Camp on their ancestral lands.  The Sinixt, by declaration, have established the “Sinixt Slhu7kin – Perry Ridge Wilderness Preserve to protect the rich bio-diversity on Perry Ridge and the collective domestic watershed interests of the Perry Ridge community.”

Sinixt Nation members, local residents, and supporters are gathered at the beginning of the Perry Ridge Forest Service road near the town of Slocan, BC.  The camp has halted all commercial logging in the area.

After a complete refusal to consult with the Sinixt Nation, BC Timber Sales via BC Ministry of Forests and Range sold the logging rights to 4 controversial cut-blocks on Perry Ridge to Sunshine Logging LTD of Kaslo, BC.  Sunshine Logging purchased the 2 year contract for approximately $330,000 after BC Timber Sales dropped the auction bidding price because no companies wanted to touch the highly contentious contract with a ten foot pole.

This isn’t the first time people have taken a stand to protect the area known as Slhu7kin to the Sinixt. In 1997 local residents, the Perry Ridge Water Users Association, and Sinixt members took both legal and direct action and successfully halted road building on the ridge. Over 300 people blocked the road demanding protection for the area.

Known as the Arrow Lakes Indian Band under the Indian Act, Canada officially declared the Sinixt extinct in 1956. This left Sinixt members living on the Colville Reservation (in the USA) or scattered among other nations in BC without recognition. Read the rest of this entry

Honduras: Indigenous Peoples Ready To Mobilize Against Hydro Dams

From Intercontinental Cry.

Representatives from several organizations and members of the Tulupanes, Pech, Miskito, Maya-Chortis, Lenca and Garifuna Peoples met from October 2-3, 2010 to discuss the current state of human rights and the environment in Honduras.

The two-day meeting was held in the Garifuna community of Sambo Creek, exactly one month after the government passed a set of news laws that conceded the use of Honduran rivers for the construction of 41 new hydroelectric dam projects. The meeting was specifically organized to articulate a response to the unilateral and ultimately illegal move.

“Many of these dams would affect indigenous communities,” notes Annie Bird, the co-director of Rights Action. But even so, the government didn’t bother to consult any of the communities or gain their consent before passing the laws.

They were obligated to do so under ILO Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In a declaration that followed the two-day meeting, representatives explained that the passage of laws was merely the latest assault in an ongoing offensive that began after the military coup of June 28, 2009.

The also pointed out that, “The effects of climate change in Honduras have been ignored by the various administrations, without taking appropriate measures to prevent the destruction of biodiversity, Honduras being identified as one of the countries in the world most affected by global warming. Our people are subjugated by the instruments from the United Nations Carbon Fund, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Programme of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD), which kidnap our rivers and forests, which we’ve look after for centuries.” Read the rest of this entry