Outrage as Ottawa company clear-cuts traditional Algonquin land

Martha Troian - Media Indigena

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Just a 20 minute drive west of Parliament Hill in the nation’s capital lies Beaver Pond, an old-growth forest that according to First Nations is of historic and spiritual significance.

Archeologists have found what is estimated to be a 10,000 year-old stone circle in Beaver Pond.

But according to reports, as of this morning the 1,100 hectare wilderness is being ‘clear-cut’ – all to make room for a new subdivision.

Yesterday, First Nations from the Ottawa region were joined by hundreds of people to participate in a ‘day of prayer’ to save Beaver Pond, including Chief Mireille Lapoint of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.

Reciting the words of Algonquin Elder William Commanda she told the people gathered, “once you cut a forest you cannot replant a forest, it will not regrow”.

The company that is building the subdivision, KNL Development, had agreed to delay clear-cutting until January 31st in order for the Algonquins to complete an archeological report. But with the land now being cleared, it seems obvious that the company has waited long enough.

Chief Paul Lamothe of the Ottawa Algonquin First Nation disagrees, “If we can get a proper archeological report done, they will find that there are artifacts in the forest. To do a proper survey it would have to be done in the Spring, not in winter conditions.”

“The first order of business is legal consultation with the Algonquin people. There is no consultation to the Aboriginal people, let alone to the public”, says Chief Grant Tysick of the Kinounchepirini Algonquin First Nation.


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