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Couple from Attawapiskat goes on 15-day boat trip to Ring of Fire to demonstrate presence and protect the land

Originally published in CBC News

December 10, 2020

James Kataquapit, 54, says they discovered abandoned 10-gallon barrels and two solar-powered cameras on trip

Worried about the possible impacts of opening up the Ring of Fire, a couple from Attawapiskat First Nation spent part of their fall on a 15-day boat trip to the meeting point of the Attawapiskat and Muketei rivers in northern Ontario.

Their mission: to document what they saw, make their presence and use of the land and waters known, and send a message to political leaders involved in the Ring of Fire.

“Bill 197 they call it. [My understanding is] if a mine comes here, they will not even ask us for our consent, they are just going to do it, and that’s why I told my wife I want to do this,” said James Kataquapit, 53, about why he and his wife Monique decided to go on their trip at the end of October.

“I want to look at my kids, my grandkids, my grand-grandkids… we’re land people, we use land all the time and that’s why I’m very concerned for that land… why I’m fighting for the land,” he added.

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