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Ontario First Nation leadership statement of support for the KI 6

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    ... From: CNW Portfolio System To: Portfolio E-Mail Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 7:07 AM Subject: Ontario First Nation leadership statement of support for
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3 7:10 AM
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: CNW Portfolio System
      To: Portfolio E-Mail
      Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 7:07 AM
      Subject: Ontario First Nation leadership statement of support for the KI 6



      CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail





      CHIEFS OF ONTARIO


      Transmitted by CNW Group on : April 3, 2008 10:05
      Ontario First Nation leadership statement of support for the KI 6

      TORONTO, April 3 /CNW/ - First Nations leadership met yesterday in
      Thunder Bay to discuss the imprisonment of First Nation leaders for protecting
      their constitutional rights. On March 17, 2008, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
      (KI) Chief Donny Morris, Deputy Chief Jack McKay, Councillor Cecilia Begg,
      Councillor Darryl Sainnawap, and community member Bruce Sakakeep were
      sentenced to six months in jail for contempt of court.
      The Court system and their interpretation of the Rule of Law does not
      accommodate First Nation laws and rights. By definition the "Rule of Law"
      should and must include the recognition of First Nation constitutional rights
      contained in the Constitution Act, 1982. Much of Canadian statutory law and
      regulations pre-date the 1982 recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights even
      though such rights have been in existence prior to Canada forming as a state.
      A review to determine whether federal and provincial laws conform with section
      35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 has not been done.
      The lack of federal and provincial law conformance with aboriginal and
      treaty rights forces judges and the courts to impose a discriminatory form of
      justice. First Nations people are characterized as disrespecting Canadian
      laws. In fact, First Nations leaders such as the KI 6 are acting in accordance
      with their own laws and rights.
      In the majority of instances, conflicts between First Nations peoples and
      Canadian governments end up adjudicated in provincial or federal courts
      instead of impartial tribunals. Provincial and federal courts are established
      to administer and enforce provincial and federal laws so First Nations peoples
      and their rights are always going to be at a disadvantage.
      The First Nation leaders that gathered in Thunder Bay were unanimous in
      their support for the jailed KI leadership (KI 6) and expressed considerable
      respect and support for the determination of this group of First Nation
      heroes. They are heroes because they stood up for what they believe in. As
      First Nation peoples we derive our survival and very identity from the land.
      It is incumbent upon us to protect the land for the survival of our future
      generations.
      What the provincial government has done is that they have jailed
      respected First Nation leaders for protecting their land and standing up for
      the values and beliefs that they hold dear. This solves nothing. It deters no
      First Nation from taking action to protect their land. What they have
      accomplished is to push First Nations past the breaking point of frustration.
      The First Nations leadership that met in Thunder Bay have said "enough is
      enough", so much has been taken from First Nations from the time of contact
      and now our people will be jailed for protecting what little we have left. We
      won't sit idly by while such blatantly unfair and unacceptable acts are
      committed against our First Nation brothers and sisters.
      In support of the people of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and the jailed
      KI 6 leaders, First Nations in Ontario determined they will act collectively
      to express visible and loud support through rallies and demonstrations
      commencing immediately and continuing until the KI prisoners are released.
      Other actions and demands of support expressed by the Ontario First
      Nations leadership include a demand that the Provincial government withdraw
      the mining permits issued on the lands of KI. Furthermore, the First Nations
      leaders support the demand of the KI peoples to be reimbursed for all of the
      litigation and related costs for asserting and protecting their rights.
      First Nations in Ontario note the silence of the Federal Government as
      negligent and dishonourable conduct. The federal government is the partner in
      the Treaty 9 relationship between the KI peoples and the Crown yet the federal
      government has not acted as a fiduciary and treaty partner to ensure that the
      provincial government and Platinex, a Canadian corporate entity, respects the
      constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights of the KI peoples. First Nations
      leadership in Ontario demand that the federal government act in a responsible
      and honourable manner to facilitate an acceptable solution in this matter.
      The following is the banking information for the KI Legal Fund for those
      able to make a financial contribution:

      <<
      Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
      Kanawayandan D'aaki Legal Fund
      Transit No.00387
      Account Number 22-07117
      CIBC, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
      >>




      -30-

      /For further information: Pam Hunter, (416) 597-1266; or Policy Advisor,
      (613) 203-3233/

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