Welcome to our new KI Lands and Environment website.
We are bringing you the latest information from the work we do from the KI Lands and Environment Office with regards to our research, advocacy, and campaign against the settler governments and industries that pose threats to our lands and environment within our KI Homelands. The threats are real and they come from various enactments of the settler governments that show no respect to our laws and nationhood.
Over the years we have seen outsiders come onto our land without permission, as if we do not exist. We are still dealing with the legacy of the PCBs, mine tailings, and other toxics that they have left behind and which end up in our bodies as we live off the land. We will not allow this to continue.
There is a cultural bias at play here with respect to our KI situation. The externally imposed laws of development of resource extraction tend to imply that KI is not in keeping with the laws of the society in cultural context. When we stand up to protect our health, our culture, and our lands, the courts throw our leaders in jail. But we have our own laws that have been given to us by the creator and that respect the natural law of the land and the wisdom of our elders. We know that the earth must continue its own function that supports us and all other creation.
The settler officials call on us that we are static about the development of mining and that we'd be opposing mining forever! This is a choice that must rest with our community to make in our own time. We will decide, whether, when, where, and how mining will, or will not, take place on our Homeland.
For KI everything is about culture, a dynamic culture that changes. Over many thousands of years, KI have been changing with the times for good or bad. Nevertheless, we have survived and moved on with the changes. Nothing that we did was ever separated from the culture, including teachings, indigenous knowledge, technology, and others.
KI wants to see fundamental change in how mining is governed and carried out. Presently, mining is irresponsible and dangerous. It does not respect our authority over our own land. It poisons the water and damages the land. KI has a complete moratorium on mining exploration activity on our homeland. This will be enforced until KI is satisfied that old toxics have been cleaned up, our lands research and planning has been completed, our jurisdiction is recognized, and the land and water that our people depend on are protected.
Please continue to visit this website to stay up to date about our efforts and to find out how you can support our stand for KI, our culture, our authority, and for the earth that all life depends on.
To preserve and protect the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug's (KI) Homelands from environmentally destructive human activities through the following purposes:
1. promoting the preservation and protection of the KI Homelands;
2. promoting the principles of KI indigenous land use and occupancy;
3. supporting KI in the development of economic activity that is sustainable and in accordance with the principles of KI indigenous land use and occupancy;
4. promoting and sponsoring KI in the defense and protection of the environment within KI Homelands;
5. sponsoring and encouraging research and publication of educational materials with respect to the fish, animals, forest, water, land and others within the KI Homelands, and the sustainable relationship between KI government and the natural environment;
6. to network with other organizations and enlist their support in pursuit of our purposes;
7. to work with appropiate levels of government in support of the protection of KI Homelands;
8. to solicit funds or monies, to receive or acquire and hold gifts or donations to be used solely in the furtherance of the aforesaid purposes.
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) have their own philosophies that reflect and reinforce our relationship with the natural world. It starts with recognition that all life is within a circle, including people. Because we are within the same circle, we must be careful in reaching decisions that affect the circle. Our decision will travel around the circle and impact on the future generations to come. We have a responsibility to ensure that the future generations can look back at us and say that our decisions today have not caused harm to them in the future.
It is the common belief of KI that the world and universe are made of four (4) elements: fire, earth, air (breathe), and water. The fire is the gift from the sun to the people, the earth is referred to as mother earth caring for her young such as animals, land and human beings; air is the sacred element that acts like a bridge between this earth and universe; and water is the source of life – as the water breaks, the child is born.
KI have a genuine understanding of how nature and life work. These four (4) elements described are necessary for nature and life to work together within the cosmos structure as characterized in the world-view of KI. KI use these physical elements as beliefs and symbols to remind themselves of the sacred life that they are part of, and has the mandate from the Creator to assume custodianship of the elements in order to maintain the sacred balance of life.
The Creator or Keeshaymanitou is present in the cosmos structure of the entire of life and is a source of four elements. The four elements intermingle capably of proper balance. That balance, then forms the structure and fills the life of all things. All four elements form different levels of life into conditions of matter. To modern KI, fire refers to all light and heat, earth to all solids, air to all gases and water to all fluids.
The Keeshaymanitou gave KI the right and responsibility to use and care for the sacred elements of fire, earth, air and water which are inherent in all manifestations. This right and responsibility has its spiritual foundation from the beginning, now and will exist in what is yet to come.
KI teachings and customary laws must be recognized by non-Aboriginal partners to address environmental problems in relation to lands and resources in order to achieve harmony and balance in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Homelands.
Jacob Ostaman – Director
Steven Chapman – Research Team Leader