MNN. April 11, 2008. An election year! It sure looks like the band council of Kanehsatake is working with Niocan Inc. Niocan is proceeding with “Plan B”, which is to go after the Mohawks. The Ongwehonwe got a notice one day before the meeting that took place on Wednesday, April 9th at the Mohawk Immersion School in the Pines. For some reason Niocan is desperate to get our consent to start mining this rare mineral which is wanted by the military, industrial and communications complex.

Ray Gabriel, Clarence Simon and Steve Bonspille of the band council attended the meeting. Steve spoke against it, saying, “My position was and remains against the mine”. The other two did not say a word. Steven said to Niocan, “Good luck trying to get a ‘yes’ out of the Mohawks”, which they did not get.

Niocan has finally realized that they can’t do anything without the support of the Mohawks. Otherwise the Quebec government can’t give them a license to mine.

G. Bernard Coulombe, the president, CEO and Director of the Board of Niocan, did the power point presentation about water and tailings management, economic impact and their conclusions. [Coulombe was former director of Placer Dome from 1994 to 2006 which was responsible for a huge mine disaster in the Philipines and can’t operate there anymore! 514-288-8506, 2000 Peel St., #760, Montreal, Mrs. Martin Desjardins, Oka Region].

At the last BAPE meeting, Niocan had to go back to the drawing board and address the environmental issues raised by the native and non native “Citizens Group”. Louis Sylvester, the lawyer, was hired by Steve, Pearl Bonspille, John Harding and the late Crawford Gabriel who were on the council at the time. Sylvester did a great job objecting to Niocam’s project. [November 2001].

They called this something like the “New and Improved Oka Project”, or, as the Mohawks sarcastically called it, the “New and Not So Improved Niocan”. Niocan gloated over how wonderful it’s going to be even though it’s going to kill us, give us cancer and contaminate our land.

On one street 22 people have recently had or died of cancer. Niocan refuses to address the health issue. They ordered us to, “Prove it!” Hey, Niocan, we buried them. They are our families who lived on that road.

No third-party independent assessments were shown to us. Out-dated 1995 maps and a few aerial views were pulled out. It was all technical stuff like processing plants, drums, underground pipes and wires in various colors, finished products and surface water tables. They thought this would be over our heads and we would bow down in awe before them. “It’s going to be soooo good for Oka”, they purred [but not for Indians or the farmers].

If we don’t go along with them, they’ll just pull out the new municipalization harmonization agreement that James Gabriel signed with Oka and Quebec government. This benefits the town of Oka and the Sulpicians who pretend to be blind to their obligations as trustees to our land.

Why would they go ahead with this when they did not have our consent? Trying to make us feel sorry for them, they told us that up to the present $8.5 million has already been spent on different studies. $130 million in project investment is forecasted. “Economic impact”, “job creation”, “160 direct”, “340 indirect”, “spin offs” and “$1 million in training programs”, during the 17-year life of the mine. “The Oka area will get $595 million, Quebec will get $781 million and the Indians will get nothing but a toxic waste dump!”

KPMG are both the auditors and authors of the “socio-economic study of the Niocan mine project” the mine. [2000 McGill College Avenue, #1900, Montreal H3A 3H8]

The Ongwehonwe emphatically told Niocan, “No! No! No!” Testing the waters, Niocan then asked, “What do you want?” The Ongwehonwe just laughed at them, “We don’t want it. Go away!”

Everybody had the same position, “It’s not negotiable”. Pearl Bonspille said, “I will do everything in my power to stop this. The chiefs and their Band Council Resolution don’t mean anything. They are under a forensic audit and can’t sign anything”.

When asked about the radiation in the water, Coulombe belittled the Ongwehonwe every chance he had, “Are you a scientist? What do you know?” This could mean that this mine is sewn up with the band council. What they sign and say are two different things! The people do not trust them.

Coulombe chided them, “Don’t you want a better life?” An Ongwehonwe woman said, “Yes, we want our life and our health”. Trying to create a racial divide, Coulombe suggested to the media that the, “Mohawks are having a problem with the whites”. The woman shot back, “No, it’s not white or black. It’s a question of health!” The Ongwehonwe and the non-natives stuck together.

One of the farmers wants to convert his apple orchard into organic gardening. Niocan would destroy it. Basically the non-native farmers were told, “Forget about growing apples. Eat niobium! It’ll make you glow!”

Coloumbe told the reporters, “We are still going to try to get the support of the Mohawks” [by hook or by crook]. They have known from the beginning that it is traditional Mohawk Territory and about our concern for our health and environment. This is likely where we will see the creation of enough “Indians” by ‘genie’ologist, Mother Joan Holmes, to push this project through. Niocan, the band council, Indian Affairs and Quebec government all want the “fix to be in”. Joan Ho is the one who can tone up the socio-economic and cultural aspects and memberships to suit the goals of her “masters”, which aren’t the Mohawks. Joan Ho, how are you planning to rig the election this summer?

The sell-outs want a “cash out”. Clarence “Mr.-Potato-Head” Simon could move to his estate in P.E.I. Raymond “Molasses” Gabriel could go with his Parisian wife to France. Councilors Doreen Canatoquin, John Canatoquin, Marie Chene and Michelle Lamouche did not even bother to show up for the meeting. They obviously don’t need to be sold on the mining project.

We are concerned that this meeting will be seen as fulfillment of their obligation to a fake “public consultation”. Not according to the Supreme Court of Canada in Taku River. They said consultation has to be meaningful.

Niocan kept trying to glamorize this project. You’d think he was promoting a casino where at least we can have some entertainment and fun. Former sell-out “ Vichy ” chief, James Gabriel, told Niocan he just wanted “a partnership or compensation”. He never took it to the community. We were not even included in a referendum that Oka had on April 16, 2000. Niocan basically stated then, “We are not going to recognize the results if it goes against us”.

After Wednesday’s meeting the NIO stock on the Montreal-Toronto Stock Exchange dropped 4 cents. Could it be profit taking by some scared shareholders? It’s a public company. Who is pushing this project? Here are some of the major shareholders as of Jan. 1, 2008: Electrumferro Metals LLC about 26% and Norshield Investment about 11%. Is it possible the Sulpicians, who have been after our hides forever, have shares in this? Mr. Coulombe has about 931,500 shares as of March 13, 2008. No wonder he’s so desperate!

Electrumferro Metals does not exist on the internet. In 2005 John Xanthoudakis of Norshield of Montreal was found guilty by the Ontario Securities Commission of losing $400 million of his investors’ money. He allegedly created dormant shell companies with no assets in the Caribbean. []. Could this be one of the reasons why the Quebec government investment arm pulled out of Niocan?

There are four “pros” of concern that are being played out against us here: “pro-mine” development; “pro-settling of a fake claim to our land; “pro-Sulpicians” who want us removed; and “pro-dropping of the $90 million lawsuit” facing Canada.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

Click on “News” and see category “Kanehsatake”

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