Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
In 1844, land was reserved for their use at Bobs Lake, but it was destroyed by illegal logging in the 1850s, and sold to Irish immigrants. In the 1930s, the Government of Canada set up a reserve at Golden Lake and gave status to those living there (Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation). Ardoch Algonquins were encouraged to abandon their lands, and move to Golden Lake.
In the summer of 1981, the Ardoch Algonquin blockaded a commercial rice-harvesting venture to protect what they saw as their territory and their manoomin (wild rice) which grows in the Mississippi river nearby. At the end of August, the community was raided by the police, and many protesters were arrested. Although the blockade ended, the rice-harvesting venture stopped, and no further attempts to claim it have been made.
More recently, Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan blocked access to a prospective uranium mining site, near Sharbot Lake, Ontario, on traditional Ardoch territory. Frontenac Ventures Corporation, the company which wishes to do uranium drilling tests, sought injunctions against the leaders of the protest. A Supreme Court of Canada ruling insists that provincial governments are legally obliged to consult with First Nations communities prior to any economic activity on land they have claimed, the Ontario Provincial Government began negotiations with Frontenac Ventures without the consent of Ardoch Algonquin.
In February, 2008, Justice Douglas Cunningham sentenced Ardoch Algonquin co-chiefs Paula Sherman and Robert Lovelace to six month terms in prison for contempt of court, but Sherman, a single mother of three, agreed to obey the injunctions to avoid prison time. Lovelace is father of seven, and an instructor at Queen's University and Sir Sandford Fleming Community College. The court also fined him $25,000 and fined the community an additional $10,000. Sherman, a professor at Trent University was fined $15 000, payable to Frontenac Ventures. Currently the injunction restricts the Algonquin and non-native activists from approaching the site closer than 200 metres; this has not, however, discouraged protests in surrounding communities.
On March 18, 2008 Shabot Obaadjiwan Chief Doreen Davis and Elder Earl Bedore were required to enter into an undertaking "to discourage other members of their community and other organizations from interfering" with Frontenac Ventures' operations.
In addition to the charges of contempt, Frontenac Ventures is suing the Algonquin for $77 million.
On March 18, 2008, contempt charges were dropped "without costs" against three non-native activists: Frank Morrison and Christian Peacemakers David Milne and Reverend John Hudson. They had been charged with violating the same injunction as Lovelace and Sherman, but Frontenac Ventures declined to prosecute. During the same proceedings, however, warrants were obtained for the arrest of five other non-native activists who allegedly violated the injunction.
- AAFN History Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Algonquin co-chief to stop her uranium protest to avoid jail
- Judge orders Algonquin communities out Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Supporters fast for jailed chief, The Lindsay Post, April 22, 2008
- The Whig Standard - Ontario, CA[permanent dead link]
- Kanata forest protest moves to city, CBC News
Uranium Defense