Far away from photogenic west coast rainforests, the Protectors of Mother Earth have been busy blockading logging roads into their traditional territories for nearly 15 months.
On June 30, 1992 the blockade faced a surprise raid from a SWAT team who bullied peacefully protesting Elders. Saskatchewan's new provincial NDP government then made their human rights/environmental stance crystal clear. (Ring a bell, B.C.?)
One of the Elders arrested in the raid, Mary Fleurie, said the RCMP forced a pregnant woman into a prison cell for the night with three other prisoners, two 25-inch-wide cots, and no food.
And if you thought things couldn't get worse -- the logging is sponsored by the local DIA-created tribal council and the Saskatchewan government.
Joe Iron, an Elder from Canoe Lake, said he was told the tribal council sold the now-falling timber for $3 million dollars -- and Iron was never even consulted.
Fleurie outlined the Protectors of Mother Earth's main demand: "We want compensation for damage already done from the clearcutting. They've wrecked the trees, and the herbs and the medicines. Everything else [too]. Berries, the animals. There's no place for the animals to go, there's only sand."
The clearcutting is part of a multi-billion dollar federal-provincial push to establish polluting pulp and paper mills throughout Canada's boreal forest. The Elders recently visited the Clayoquot Sound logging road blockades in a show of support--from Canada's longest running blockade to Canada's largest.
You can help by supporting the Protectors of Mother Earth/Saskatoon Indigenous Coalition. Phone (306) 664-1992, fax (306) 933-4346. [SISIS editor's note: this contact information may no longer be valid.]