TML Daily (Oct. 21) – THE Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick has been blockading a fracking operation by SWN Resources Canada, a subsidiary of Texas-based Southwestern Energy (SWN). This spring, SWN began preliminary testing for shale gas exploitation in the area without prior consultation with First Nations, as required by law.
As is their right and duty, the Elsipogtog have exercised their right to resist, in defence of their constitutional, treaty and hereditary rights, which governments are duty-bound to uphold. Instead, governments have seen fit to use state violence, as was carried out on October 17 by the RCMP against the First Nation and its supporters, in defence of monopoly right. The RCMP arrested some 40 people during their October 17 attack and they are scheduled to appear in court today.
Miles Howe, an independent journalist writing for the Halifax Media Co-op points out that “none of Canada’s Maritime provinces are ceded land. The Crown is tied to the original indigenous inhabitants — and their land — through treaties of peace and friendship. Nothing more.”
In addition to the demand that fracking be stopped immediately, on October 12, the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society called on New Brunswick Premier David Alward to:
– produce all Bills of Sales, Sold, Ceded, Granted and Extinguished Lands for New Brunswick;
– produce documents proving Cabot’s Doctrine of Discovery;
– produce the Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1686;
– produce Treaty of Fort Howe 1768;
– produce consents for Loyalists to land in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick;
– produce records of Townships created and consents by Chiefs to allow this;
– produce agreements or consents by all New Brunswick Chiefs who agreed to Confereration of 1867;
– produce evidence of consents to the Indian Act by all Native Tribes.
– produce records of Trust Funds.
– produce agreements for 4% of all mineral shares of finished products in Canada, except coal;
– produce all correspondence letters pertaining to Numbered Treaties (Promises);
– produce all documents creating border divisions, that divide the Wabanaki confederacy;
– produce the Orders from the Lords of Trade to the Governor of the Colonies.
TML reiterates that the just demands of the Indigenous peoples for the recognition of their rights are not a “special interest” but an issue facing the entire polity which can only be resolved through modern arrangements that uphold rights on the basis that they are inviolable and belong to people by virtue of their being. TML calls on everyone to continue organizing and participating in actions in support of this important fight for rights.