IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 7, 2012
KI Chief Morris goes to Sherman Lake to guard against GLR, calls on Minister Bartolucci to start negotiating
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) –As over a hundred KI supporters rallied in Toronto, KI Chief Donny Morris travelled to the Sherman Lake site yesterday to guard against trespass by mining exploration company Gods Lake Resources (GLR). The Chief is challenging the government of Ontario to avert an escalated conflict with the junior gold exploration company which insists on drilling on leases and claims in an area known to contain sacred burials and other KI cultural values.
Chief Morris posted a youtue video from the site today:
“We are getting ready for the company that is coming to this territory,” said Chief Morris in the youtube video, the latest in his series of public statements from the remote community. “Bartolucci, I’m here now so let’s start the negotiations, let’s sit down.”
On Sunday the Ontario government unilaterally withdrew 23,181 sq km of land in KI Homeland from mining exploration in response to KI’s longstanding decision to place a full moratorium on industry in our Indigenous Homeland. However, the claims and leases at the heart of KI’s conflict with GLR are unaffected by ON’s move and the dispute over protection of our burials and sacred landscape remains unresolved.
The MNDM has indicated that GLR intends to access the site this month. Both GLR and ON refuse to say what date the company plans to move its drill rig in, prompting KI to establish a reconnaissance presence at the site.. KI Chief Morris said in a Feb. 16 youtube video that his community was mobilizing and he feared that the situation would escalate. In a March 1 news release GLR indicated that they are looking to hire private security for their drill program – a potentially explosive move.
“As a child this is where I grew up hunting with my family, and I’m here now on familiar ground,” said Chief Morris.
KI gained national attention in 2008 when six of its leaders, including Chief Morris, were jailed for opposing mining company Platinex. Major unions and NGOs are joining forces with KI Indigenous Nation to insist that mining Minister Bartoluccui stop exploration on KI's land before Ontario taxpayers have to foot the bill. In 2009, Platinex received $5-million plus mediation for ceding their claim to KI Lands.
Chief Darryl Sainnawap: (807) 537-2263
N.B. Chief Morris will be unavailable for a few days.
For more information and live interviews with KI reps in Toronto contact:
David Sone: 647-386-1481
High res images, audio, and video: firstname.lastname@example.org