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(en) Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - Chicoutimi: Railroad blockade in solidarity with the communities of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 21 Sep 2022 08:56:32 +0300

We are republishing a press release that we have just received in our inbox. ---- 07 September. Chicoutimi, Nitassinan not ceded. On Wednesday evening, a group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal activists blocked the Roberval-Saguenay railway belonging to the multinational Rio Tinto in solidarity with the National Committee for the Rights of First Peoples, which is paralyzing the railway located in limits of Labrador and Schefferville and which is used by the Tatta Steel mine. These actions are intended to remind governments that members of Indigenous communities in the country will no longer accept any compromise on criminal acts committed against them.
The band councils of Uashat mak Mani-utenam (ITUM) and Matimekush-Lac John are suspected of having obtained the majority of electoral votes through corruption, fraud, extortion and breach of trust. The alleged facts would have occurred between 2019 and 2022 and would involve an amount of nearly $1.8M in bribes and favors of all kinds. In the official complaint made to the Sureté du Québec by the First Peoples' Rights Committee, proof of the list coming directly from ITUM's accounting system shows that there were, without the knowledge of the members, approximately 325 billing payments registered for an approximate amount of $1,780,000. This sum would be the result of a contract signed with the mining company IOC Rio-Tinto in 2020, in which the team of chef Mike McKenzie would have hidden the legal meaning of the many clauses of this agreement from the members, which would have had the effect of giving exclusively and without delay of extinction to this agreement, all future decision-making rights for the exploitation of natural resources being on the unceded greater Nitassinan, territory to which the Innuat people belong!

Today's action carried out by the collective in Saguenay is to remind us that the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) as well as the band councils, which are nothing more than an organ of colonial assimilation put in place by the federal government, are not masters of the unceded Nitassinan. Agreements signed illegally, by extortion, without the consent of the great Innuat people, will never again be tolerated. Mining companies have been destroying and polluting Innuat territory for several decades. Our action is a direct act of ancestral sovereignty of the First Peoples. We have been perpetuating this ancestral governance for thousands of years. We also act for future generations in order to bequeath them a healthy land and to perpetuate our ancestral rights, our sacred relationship with Assi (the Earth) and all living beings. Enough is enough! Today we are acting on behalf of a movement by the Indigenous people and their allies and for the people to denounce these criminal acts sanctioned by the Canadian and Quebec courts of justice. We call for the multiplication of solidarity actions in connection with this fight.

Also consult the press release of the National Committee on the Rights of First Peoples.

by Emma Goldman Collective

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