Attawapiskat | Resource | Video
Minister Guilbeault: Listen to the grassroots in Treaty 9! (ft. Mike Koostachin)

Video from Mining Injustice

24 February 2022

Dear Minister Guilbeault,

Welcome to your new role! We were so happy to hear your recent statements at COP 26, where you spoke so clearly about protecting the rights of Indigenous people.

So, we were shocked when one of your first acts as Minister was to post a draft Terms of Reference for the Regional Assessment of the Ring of Fire that omits Indigenous communities from leading the review.

Supporting these Terms of Reference goes against everything you say you believe in. These Terms cut the region’s Indigenous peoples out of decision-making roles on their own lands.

We’re concerned that you may not have been briefed fully and properly about the Ring of Fire. We hope you’ll accept the help of the communities you represent.

We are all treaty peoples, and that comes with both rights and responsibilities. You say you want to be a part of that, to stand for Treaty rights and obligations, and for our common climate future. And the first step is to listen.

Elected officials before you have chosen to ignore the diverse and important perspectives in the Indigenous grassroots of Treaty 9, as well as allies across the country who are saying that there’s a lot to be worried about when it comes to the Ring of Fire. So, let’s try to fix that.

In the next few weeks, you will hear from many allies across the country providing you with a Treaty Peoples’ Briefing on what’s been going on with the Ring of Fire before you got here.

You may have heard that the Crown has a duty to consult. But there’s more to the story.

It is not enough to speak only to First Nations leadership without also hearing from community members.

Today’s part of the Treaty Peoples’ Briefing comes from Mike Koostachin, a member of Attawapiskat First Nation.

In this video, he talks about why it’s important to listen to the grassroots in Treaty 9, and why we must always make decisions with future generations in mind.

The video I’m sending you today is just one part of a series of diverse voices on this issue. Keep an eye out for more as we keep sharing them.

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