UPDATE: KI Six and Robert Lovelace freed
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In April, No Dirty Gold members urged the Ontario Premier to release the First Nation leaders who were jailed for attempting to protect their lands by protesting mining activities.
Activists released from jail this week
Good news: this week, these activists have been released. The KI Six, of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, and Robert Lovelace of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation had been sentenced to six months in jail but have been released ahead of time.
On May 28th, an appeals court released Bob Lovelace from custody after three months of his six-month sentence. The judge also reduced the sentence of the KI6 to the time they had already served.
The Ontario Mining Act must be changed
Platinex and Frontenac Ventures have now agreed to not oppose the appeal, but the indigenous activists still face a second round of contempt charges next week. Community members are calling on the Province to change the antiquated Ontario Mining Act to recognize the right of indigenous groups and community to prior consent for mining projects on their lands.
"If you don't have the right to say, 'No,' you have no right at all," said Lovelace.
Tell the premier of Ontario to release the KI Six and Robert Lovelace!
As you read this message, seven First Nation leaders sit in jail for peacefully protesting mining activities on their traditional lands in the boreal forests of Ontario, Canada.
Please send a letter to the Premier of Ontario urging the immediate release of these community leaders.
Jailed for protecting their community
For peacefully asserting their rights and preventing mining company officials from accessing their lands, these Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) leaders, – known as the KI Six -- were sentenced to six months in prison. The KI Six were sentenced just weeks after Ardoch Algonquin First Nation spokesperson Robert Lovelace began serving a six-month sentence for similar charges.
The 1,200 strong KI community of hunters, fishers, and trappers is opposed to mining activities on their traditional lands in Northern Ontario., Canadian company Platinex Inc. believes their lands contain one of the world's largest platinum deposits.
Please write to the Ontario government today and demand the immediate release of these political prisoners. The government needs to see an overwhelming outpouring of public support.
Your voice can help convince Ontario that this heavy-handed approach is unacceptable—and that the free, prior and informed consent of local communities is an essential pre-requisite to mining.
Scott, Payal and Alan, EARTHWORKS
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