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Program Information
 CKLN news 
 Warren Ashopenace, Rocky Strong, Shawntel Swain
 CKLN 88.1 fm  
 For non-profit use only.
In December 2002, the Grassy Narrows First Nation mounted a blockade of Abitibi logging trucks coming to clearcut their traditional land use area. In this discussion, three youth from the community talk about their struggle to protect their land.
Producer: CKLN News
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"Grassy Narrows is a First Nation community located roughly 80 kilometres north of Kenora in the Northwest corner of Ontario. First this community had their traditional lands stolen by the crown and forest industry, then their people were poisoned by mercury pollution from a mill in Dryden, and now the Abitibi-Consolidated mill in Kenora is about to clear-cut the last and only remaining mature forest blocks directly surrounding their community!"
- Judy DaSilva, environmental rep for Grassy Narrows

On December 3, 2002, youth of Grassy Narrows began to block logging trucks on their way to clearcut the Whiskey Jack Forest, on which the community depends.

In March, youth and adults from the community travelled to Toronto and to Six Nations of the Grand River to educate people in southern Ontario about their struggle and to make allies. In Toronto, they held an all-day educational event at the University of Toronto, and a demonstration outside of the offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources. On Thursday March 20, they participated in an all-night vigil in downtown Toronto, in preparation for a "Freedom March" the next day, against the proposed First Nations Governance Act.

During the night, three youth from the community joined us at CKLN for a discussion of their priorities and strategies, and to talk about their experiences on the trip itself.

This discussion is broken into three files.

Part 1 (27m27s) opens with the youth introducing themselves. At 2:17 they begin to describe the impact of Abitibi's forestry practices in their traditional land use area. At 10:37 a question leads to discussion of different strategies that the people of Grassy Narrows have used, and why they have chosen to blockade the highways. At 17:21 they describe the blockade itself and their plans for the summer. At 22:14 they reflect on the meaning of the treaties and the proposed First Nations Governance Act. Some background music starts to be audible in this last segment, unfortunately.

In Part 2 (8m8s), the youth describe their trip to southern Ontario, particularly their reception in Toronto at the Native Canadian Centre, and at Six Nations of the Grand River (a large reserve west of Toronto).

In Part 3 (4m59s), the youth talk about what people in the city can do to support them, invite listeners to Grassy Narrows, and wind it up with a joke.

  Download Program Podcast
00:40:28 English
  View Script
The Issues - clearcuts & resistance  00:27:21  64Kbps mp3
(12.46MB) Mono
165 Download File...
Travelling to Toronto  00:08:08  64Kbps mp3
(3.70MB) Mono
47 Download File...
Closing comments  00:04:59  64Kbps mp3
(2.10MB) Mono
168 Download File...