|REAL ALGONQUINS DO EXIST AT BARRIERE LAKE:|
MNN REGRETS MISINFORMATION POSTED ON OCTOBER 12, 2008
MNN. Dec. 16, 2008. Yes, Virginia, there are real Algonquins. Created the natural way. Without any help from Canada’s Indian Affairs or their bureaucratic “Svengali”, Mother Joan Holmes. The Algonquins of Barriere Lake in northern Quebec have lived in the area now known as “LaVerendrye Park” since time immemorial, long before colonial Quebec or Canada existed. It’s a four hour drive north from Ottawa. They’ve taken care of the land so that the forest and water are pristine. Plenty of minerals lie beneath that they don’t want to disturb. Of course, the multinational corporations want to deforest the land, take out the fresh water and then dig for the minerals.
Two opportunists have been hanging around them for over 20 years, Russell “Potato Bug” Diabo from Kahnawake and David “Dutiful-Dog” Nahwegabow from White Fish Bay. They’ve hooked up with Jean Maurice “Poncho” Matchewan and his gang who are willing to play ball with corporations like Domtar, Tembec and AbitibiBowater who want to deforest and exploit the land. Why in a park?
Around 1993 Diabo and Nahwegabow, with the help of businesses and environmental groups, set up the “Forest Stewardship Council” FSC in Bonn Germany. FSC is an Orwellian twist to the real “double dealing” that some so-called environmental protection groups are fronting. The original Indigenous owners of the world’s forests have not been informed or consulted about this. FSC “is a non-profit organization that sets global standards for responsible forestry”. 80% of their revenue comes from governments, private foundations, corporations and non-governmental organizations, some associated with the United Nations. Diabo and Nahwegabow have both sat on the boards of FSC at the international and Canadian levels. Diabo was recently in Toronto promoting FSC.
FSC tries to provide accreditation worldwide as to which Indigenous lands can be deforested by the corporations. According to the Indigenous of Clayoquot Sound British Columbia, “it’s a fraudulent scam to allow marketing of old growth forests around the world”. [See Link #1 at end of this article] [See Link #2 for a list of their latest certifications]. It is a scheme that has perverted the efforts of such well known environmental activists as the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, David Suzuki Foundation, Green Peace, the Pembina Institute, Ivey Foundation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Rainforest Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, Global Forest Watch Canada, National Environment Trust, Environmental Defence Canada and others. Instead of promoting environmental protection, it looks like they are now lending their support, knowingly or unknowingly, to those who would exploit and pollute the environment for private profit.
The idea is that any wood or wood products sold worldwide will need FSC approval, or else! the scheme allows Rona, Home Depot, Ikea and many others to present themselves as “green” companies. FSC promotes a concept of sustainability. On inspection, it turns out that after divesting us of our trusteeship and control of our lands and forests, the corporations then set up “tree farms”. Who owns them? The companies, of course! The Indigenous people are left with nothing.
At Barriere Lake Indian Affairs took over administration and placed the Algonquins under the third party management of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Just like Kanehsatake and Burnt Church! Divisions in the community were fomented. Then Indian Affairs, that holds the purse strings, incorporated the group and started to treat them like a business enterprise.
As a founding member of FSC Diabo is able to help the corporations find the best forests to get FSC accreditation anywhere in the world. The companies then go to the respective governments and get the permit to deforest the designated area. Diabo also works with members of the local band council or Indigenous group to “help” them sign illegal “Trilateral Agreements” with the province, federal government or colonial entity. The local Indigenous collaborators who sign on get very little from the deal. Their people end up having to leave their hunting, fishing and trap lines to get away from deforestation and subsequent flooding. As far as we can tell, Nahwegabow, the lawyer, and Diabo, the House Mohawk, seem to pull the strings and set up this scheme.
Jean Maurice “Poncho” Matchewan and his gang at Barriere Lake signed the Trilateral Agreement with Quebec and Canada. “Poncho”, as he is known up there, is a cynical man. He accepted power and money in exchange for compromising his people. The traditional Algonquins did not go along with him. After all, it’s their forest, their soil, their homeland and their livlihood. They remain sovereign, independent and never became Canadians. Their territory remains unsurrendered and never part of any treaty. In exchange for signing away all their territory the Algonquins have been promised some firewood, chump change and no say.
When opposition started openly brewing, Indian Affairs cut off a lot of programs to the real Algonquins – phones, hydro, water, heating oil, education and social programs and health care. The whole works! All gone! When Matchewan was subsequently removed by the people, he pulled the plug on the only generator in the community. The people were denied basic human rights and amenities and coerced into tying in social services as part of the big “deal” with the corporations, Canada and Quebec.
Why should Algonquins be reduced to refugees on their own land? The Algonquins have had to go into the bush to trap and fish to feed their families in one of the coldest winters in recent history. They are living in improperly-heated over-crowded homes that are potential fire traps. Indian affairs parachuted in four new people to “represent” the Algonquins along with a new constitution and electoral code. This was supposedly put in place with the consent of respected elders. The elders say their signatures were forged. Isn’t this an old colonial trick? In keeping with international law, agreements like this must be signed in public before the whole community which must completely understand and consent to the terms.
Poncho’s gang is now accusing Quebec and Canada of violating the Trilateral Agreement by not giving them their share of the profits. It looks like the road blocks of Highway 117 on October 6, 2008 were staged and video taped for worldwide distribution. This is where MNN got hooked in. It was incredible to see such a raw display of force against women and children. People have been made desperate. Some were paid $20 to $50 to go out on the highway and hold placards for these protests. They were forced by threats of violence and seizure of personal assets to take part. The Quebec Police SQ was more than willing to engage in brutality. They pepper sprayed and tear gassed small children and hit the women with batons.
Russell Diabo and others from Poncho’s faction are now touring Haudenosaunee and other Ongwehonwe communities trying to lure our youth to Barriere Lake to stand on the “front lines”. This plays right into the hands of those who are trying to defame the Mohawks and find an excuse to implement martial law against us.
Barriere Lake is part of the “North American Water Plan” that started in 1933 (the same year that Trenton Air Force base was built) affecting 36 Indigenous Nations. It’s a short sighted three pronged action: 1. take out the trees; 2. take out the minerals; and 3. dam and divert the rivers through aqueducts to the U.S. Remove those who are in the way. There are no signs of a back up-plan to clean up the environmental damage.
The corporate elites plan to block the St. Lawrence River and James Bay. The entire Great Lakes watershed will be turned into one big lake. This will be powered by nuclear reactor pumping stations. This appears to be one of the reasons for merging of Canadian, U.S. and Mexican military and law enforcement under the North American Union NAU and the Security and Prosperity Plan SPP.
An Algonquin elder told MNN he openly opposed their schemes. He and others that were labeled as “dissidents” have been driven from Barriere Lake under a policy of “banishment”.
Around the same time in April 2008 Ontario and Quebec signed a deal for Quebec to sell power to Ontario from hydro plants to be built on Algonquin land. Domtar also signed with Quebec to log and flood Kokomville, an Algonquin community. Quebec doesn’t believe the people living there should benefit from the resources they extracted for the benefit of foreign industries. A Domtar executive sits on the FSC Canada board. Talk about conflict of interest!
The Montreal supporters “No One Is Illegal” have been posting stories, raising money and getting support for the Pancho Matchewan group. firstname.lastname@example.org
Huge tensions surround this situation. The current economic melt down should lead to creating a sustainable economy and sharing the world’s resources fairly. We Indigenous people have always questioned why we are forced to subsidize foreign companies who extract profits from our resources and leave us with a mess. The province of Newfoundland just stripped the rights and assets of U.S. company AbitibiBowater Inc. They say they’re tired of seeing “their” [Indigenous] resources exploited with no return for the people! The Forest Products Association of Canada is now pushing Canada to extend a “work sharing program” that will turn unemployment insurance recipients into low cost slave labor so the multinational corporations can keep getting the high profits demanded by their greed. Barriere Lake Algonquins, you better dig in and find out what’s going on. [Oh! It’s beginning to look a lot like Sharbot Lake, everywhere you go – same people, same tactics!]
Iakoha’ko:wa, Eagle Watch near Sharbot Lake MNN Mohawk Nation Newshttp://www.mohawknationnews.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
[Link #2 for a list of their latest certifications]. http://www.wrm.org.uv/countries/Asia/Lang.html]this site lists certificates issued by FSC where areas of forest are being badly managed or destroyed, or where other important wildlife habitats, such as wetlands are also being damaged. www.illegal-logging_info/item_single.php?item=news@item_id=1773@approach_id=1
*Jean Charest, Premier minister, Quebec