Posts Tagged ‘sharbot lake’

transformation of a community

March 6, 2008

Thanks to uranium exploration north of Sharbot Lake in Eastern Ontario our community has been transformed. Nine months ago we were a peaceful but dynamic community of oldtimers and newcomers. Lots of artists, musicians, writers, craftspeople and organic farmers have moved here since the 60’s. We all get along most of the time. There’s lots of good music and lots of good food.

After nine months of protest we’ve given birth to an historic alliance with two local Algonquin groups whose traditional lands have been staked by a uranium exploration company. Both Algonquin groups are adamant that there will be no uranium mining on their traditional lands. We “settlers” support them without reservation. No one in this community wants a uranium mine or, for that matter, a reservation. The Algonquins in these parts are non-status by choice and therefore have no reservations.

The land here is full of wetlands, creeks, rivers and the Mississippi Valley watershed which flows into the Ottawa River. We value our clean water. And we’ll fight to keep it that way. The Algonquins have taught us that protecting the water is both our duty and responsibility.

Thanks to uranium, the Algonquins and the “21st century Settler” alliance has become an unstoppable force. Our collective eyes have been opened and we’re learning how to work together for a common cause.

Thanks to uranium the settlers and the Algonquins have become activists or “eco-terrorists”, as George White, president of Frontenac Ventures Corp., calls us. Our peaceful lifestyle has disappeared. We spend hours online and on the phone, writing letters, protesting, wondering, ranting. We’re learning how to transform a grassroots movement into a force to be reckoned with. We now know more about uranium and the effects of mining uranium than the average citizen. We now know more about the untold history of Canada’s dealings with First Nations than most of us ever imagined. And we managed to sustain a peaceful protest all through the summer and fall.

But thanks to the powerful lobby groups behind uranium mining our protest has been marginalized in the national media and blatantly ignored by the Ontario government. And lately our protest has been criminalized by injunctions and contempt of court rulings.

Thanks to uranium for the wake up call. NO THANKS TO URANIUM. This is the will of the people who live here and vote here.