Another native protest gathers steam

Canadian Press
August 28, 2007 at 5:05 PM EDT
The Globe and Mail

KINGSTON, Ont. — Aboriginal protesters blocking access to a proposed uranium mining site in eastern Ontario are calling for the provincial government to settle the dispute after a judge ordered them to leave the property.

Ardoch Algonquin First Nation co-chiefs Paula Sherman and Randy Cota again called on Premier Dalton McGuinty or Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay to step in and help resolve issues that led to the protest.

Justice Gordon Thomson of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kingston issued a new injunction on Monday, after Frontenac Ventures asked the court to remove the protesters from the land.

The company, which is prospecting the property for uranium, is also suing the protesters for $77-million.

Members of the Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations have been camped out since June at the entrance to the land near Sharbot Lake, about 80 kilometres north of Kingston.

The Algonquins say the land is theirs because in 1873 the British government signed an agreement proclaiming land not sold to or surrendered to the Crown belongs to their First Nations allies.

The protesters say the provincial government shouldn't have given Frontenac Ventures the rights to prospect there and should have consulted with them first.

They say they're afraid a uranium mine could destroy the local water table, and they won't budge until the provincial government talks to them.

See The Globe and Mail for story.