Indigenous Services Minister asking for meeting in Tyendinaga

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There may be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to ending the blockades of CN railway tracks in Tyendinaga.

The Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller is asking that they discontinue the blockades. The Minister is requesting a “Polish the Chain” ceremony with the Mohawk people sometime Saturday in an effort at peaceful reconciliation.
Quinte News has learned that a Mohawk Nation meeting has been set for 9:00 am Friday at Council House, which is the Mohawk Community Centre on York Road.
One of those showing solidarity to the demonstrators is from Attawapiskat.  He name is Jocelyn Wabano Iahtail.  She spoke to the media about the situation, not only in Tyendinaga, but in the relationship between First Nations and “colanizers”.
There is a large police presence in the area, and numerous media members, mostly national.
Members of the media were asked to leave the area closely adjacent to the tracks.  Some demonstrators have told Quinte News there is distrust with some outlets covering of the events over the past week.
There are two demonstration sites.  The main one is beside the three CN tracks at Wyman Road.  A dump truck with a plow attached, tents, oil drum fires, a small trailer, and supplies are on the south side of the tracks.  The property on both sides of the tracks is Tyendinaga Township.  The Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory begins about 300 metres to the south of the tracks.  The other demonstration location is at the south side of the tracks, below the bridge on Highway 49.  There is a school bus paint black, along with a tent, fires and supplies.  That demonstration location is on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
There is nothing physically blocking the tracks, however last Thursday one person indicated to Quinte News that if  a train were to come through the area, they would place the dump truck on the tracks.

Jocelyn Wabano Iahtail from Attawapiskat talking to the media on Wyman Road in Tyendinaga Township (Photo: Quinte News)



How This B.C. Activist Became The Oil Industry’s Number One Enemy

Tzeporah Berman has been instrumental in delaying or stopping 21 oil projects. Her next target: the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Tzeporah Berman Ms Chatelaine sits on a log by the ocean, looking out across the beach
Photo, Johann Wall.

Last December, environmental activist Tzeporah Berman joined thousands of activists, scientists, policy makers and industry reps in Katowice, Poland, for COP24, the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. She was scheduled to present a comprehensive analysis of the increase in Canada’s oil and gas emissions. Berman has been to many such gatherings, but Katowice, located in the heart of Poland’s coal country, provided a particularly bitter lesson in the contradictory nature of climate change talks. “I would leave my hotel and walk through coal-choked streets, coughing, to get to the climate negotiations,” she says.

Once there, the irony only deepened: While Berman listened to the world’s experts on renewables talk breathlessly about price drops and leaps in technology, in the room next door, Canadian government representatives cozied up to execs from Suncor. The next day, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented its grim Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C. “I’d never seen scientists like that before,” she says, “near tears, frantic and scared, saying it’s worse than we thought.”

Since she was 23, when she first helped coordinate logging protests in B.C.’s Clayoquot Sound, Berman’s mission has been to bring together political enemies (those experts and Suncor execs). In 1993, during what was dubbed “The War in the Woods,” she famously organized blockades that got her arrested and charged with 857 counts of criminal aiding and abetting (the charges were ultimately stayed). Her determination, along with testy negotiations between environmental groups, logging companies and First Nations, ultimately protected the majority of the Sound’s remaining rainforest.

In the decades that followed, Berman became known as one of the country’s most formidable environmentalists, with a reputation as a passionate but pragmatic deal maker who could nimbly balance the needs of industry, the desires of politicians and the health of the planet. MORE