September 16, 2014
Sports Complex, Ball Park Road
Mississaugi First Nations
Biidaban students have video recorded parts of this session. Principal Owl to provide compact disc.
Notes taken by: volunteer from Mchigeeng
Opening Prayer offered: Emma Meawasage Serpent River First Nation
Smudging Ceremony: Kyle Chiblow Mississaugi First Nation.
Welcome Address – Willie Pine
Good for the young ones to come here, very important that we talk about the destruction of Mother Earth by these chemicals.
Next Meeting set for October 21, 2014 at this same location.
Ministry of Natural Resources, Health Canada, Ministry of the Environment are invited to attend.
Recap discussion: Willie Pine - Mississaugi
• Earth, animals, medicines are being destroyed these issues were brought up at the last meeting.
• Young man shared what he witnessed in Garden River, it will be in the system of the water not just the river.
• Meeting with MNR – questions – “ did you ask the animals”? MNR replies: we put up signs. They were told, animals don’t read, the signs are for the humans not the animals. MNR “ well the animals leave” YES, they leave, but they will come back later to eat this.
Recap discussion: Raymond Owl - Sagamok
• Speaks to the young ones about the language, how the language you read is the language of the white man, “ when you read that, you think like that.” Learn the language of our people, so you can think like our people.
• Explains living off the land as a young boy, remembers a memory of the river being full of dead fish, his father was very upset. That was just the beginning. Even the muskrats are depleting, no more muskrats, no more ducks. Once the fish were gone, the other animals started leaving.
• In 1948 just 20 minutes before supper I was told to go catch a fish, it was fresh, no worries. Today we have to worry if we can eat the fish.
• The people of this day did not pay for what they did ( past ), we are paying.
• 1983 another incident happened. ( chemical spill ) What is the band going to do? Is the band not taking EB Eddy to court? We are taking the government to court, they are responsible, they regulate what happens.
• Process foods now days, not good for your body. The doctor gives you pills now, before we would go in the bush. The world is being made complicated by chemicals.
• They don’t do it in front of you ( aerial spraying ) but they do it up north where you cant see it.
• They don’t like the poplar tree or birch, they spray so that those trees don’t come back, they are not worth any good ( money value ) they want Jack Pine
• There are very few who know how to live off the land, we need to educate our young people how to do this so they have the knowledge to help produce change. Young people should be concerned.
Walter Perrault – Garden River
• I feel privileged to be here. Everything I have learned was from when I was young. I was sharing with my girl, how the elders would sit in and talk in the language about the issues.
• 2 + 2 = 4 the answer is not important, the + and the _ sign are the important pieces of the equation.
• All my life I have been attached to the land, my people where farmers, we traded our food at the river, no roads or railways then. When my mom was 15 she would help in the kitchens at the bush/logging camps. She would share stories of the workers in the bush. They spoke of living off the land, they spoke about gardening. It is good you young ones are here, you need to be here. The energy we have in a room is good when we meet like this. If you have a sick tree in the woods, it will produce sick trees, it is the same with the fish and other beings. A sick one will make a sick one. The bush has a cycle, it does it naturally, we don’t need to manage it. I am very visual, I can read all kinds of stuff, but probably forget it, but if I see it I will
remember. I have to touch the items to remember them. I tell my children the stuff I remember. We have to sit with our knowledge ..... to gain their???
Grace Manitowabi – Sagamok
• The Fall Harvest is coming soon. My concern is our children are allowed to eat the liver of the moose. I hope that it is not poisoned by chemicals.
Evelyn Roy – Mchigeeng
• I am very concerned about this when I heard about this. My husband hunt here and now...???
Emma Meawasage – Serpent River
• I am proud of the two young men who started this group so we can join them to help out. We believe in the Creator and we still do. We live with what the Creator gave us. We live by the Grandfather Teachings. We have all of those in us. It is very concerning today that what is being shared here today.
• When we were young we learned the teaching as a way of life, not just words. Each season we were told which animals to harvest at certain times. MNR put restrictions on us – can’t do this and that.
• We were not taught in this way, we were taught with respect. We were taught all beings have a spirit, it is all energy. We were reminded over and over what we should be doing or not doing.
• I am very glad the young ones are here to listen. When we think of pollution today it is rampant, in all the plants and animals. In my childhood we did not need doctors or nurses. Our people knew what types of medicines we needed for the ailment we faced.
Wilfred McLeod – Brunswick House First Nation
• Not shore line people but from the area being affected. Used google maps to see the mass of destruction of large lots.
• Dad would kill moose, the heart and liver were the first things to eat. Now there are signs not to eat these parts, - poison. Worked in the mines, asked to work away, he said no, want to stay close to home
• 1973 – 1978 friend went away to work. Over that summer the area was sprayed, he went to the river for water. He seen a skim of something on the water, the pollen was coming in at that time. He made tea from the water, within minutes he was feeling sick. He had to go to the hospital. August – September – woke up in march of that next year. He had webt into coma 225 pounds down to 150 pounds. His pores on his face was all black like someone rubbed coal on his face and wiped it off. His face looked dirty after this ordeal. One cup of tea. He even boiled the water, but still in there ( the chemicals)
• Asked his friend, did you report this incident. No a doctor would not let me write a report about the chemical ingestion. He ahs passed on since. They would not perform an autopsy on his body.
• Suspicious how his friend died. This type of chemicals they are using is being sold from behind caged racks, wonder why it has to be caged up. Ensuring the young are that they can make change.
• He too ( my dad ) was sent out with a 22 gun at 6 yrs old to get a meal, shoot 5 partridge he was told. He was too small to pull the lever so his mom put a leather strap on the trigger so he could pull it. The amount of moose are falling
• Went hunting, MNR officer asked to check their guns, looked over them and then asked if they seen any poachers, if you see any call us and we will arrest them. Why would i turn in a man trying to feed his family?
• MNR says poachers are over hunting the moose. No, it is the chemicals that are killing the moose.
• The logging companies spray all the time, the moose feast on those branches.
• Well it seems the lumber companies are killing 100’s of moose, but you will charge one man for one moose. Seems not right. The creator made it for us we are here to look after it. The young ones need to listen to the older ones so that you can keep the fight going.
• 1948 – Sudbury no live trees the green was dead, rock and mud only. To hunt you had to leave the area. The mines and the chemicals killed the area. Sulfur in the lake would pickle the eggs, they would not hatch. No more fish was produced. 40 -80 tanks a day of acid. Only today the trees are coming back.
• You kids got to listen to the elders. We hope you guys carry on. It is not for us, it is for you guys. We have to talk about a way to do this. It is not our life no more, it is more for your life.
Lewis Debassige – Mchigiing
• We are from UCCM elders council. I want to take time to say Miigwetch for having us here today in your territory. We need to network more among our people in our language.
• We say we come here to play with you against them. We ask that you come work with us, when one is in trouble we stand together. That’s why we are here.
• MNR thinks their ways are superior to our ways, we have the preamble that is our law, it cannot be changed that is what the Creator gave us. We are entrusted to care for mother earth.
• The flip side of that is what ever you do in nature it will come back to meet you in times to come. The white man doesn’t seem to understand this. They want to improve the lad, “you savages never made improvements.
• The Creator made the land perfect, there is no need for improving the land. To these young people, we invite you to meet with our young people.
Grant Buck- Representative , Micheal Mantha; MPP Algoma/Manitoulin
• This morning I delivered a letter to Ray Owl on behalf of Mr. Mantha in support of TEK Elders in this process. I would like to compliment the elders on the name of the group, the word knowledge is well suited.
• Mr. Mantha wrote a letter to the Ministries. He will bring back the response at a later date.
Charlie Smith – Councillor Township Sauble – Spanish Rivers
• Farmer hunter. I really appreciate that our people are doing this.
Brian Assinewe – teacher Biidabin Elementary School Sagamok
• Teaches geography and history
• Teaching the young ones how the government uses the resources they collect from the earth
• Chemicals cause birth defects and miscarriages and such, how can we teach how to keep mother earth safe
• It has opened my eyes as to what we can teach to the young ones, our...?
Matt Venderburt – grade 7 teacher Biidaban Elementary School Sagamok
• Taught these kid 2 X over. These kids are great with technology
• Not aware of this until the day before. Talk about all connections of the land
Robert Bouchard – Massey Ontario
• Domtar – Chemical Springs. They called it holy water, I would like to get some of this water
• I want to see how long minnows will last. They say they will do no such testing, why do they transfer it at night, why do they use helicopters. There needs to be some change
• I went back to the area that was sprayed, there are no animals there.
• Asked the kids to prepare a one page essay to show what they have learned from this session
Gord Day – Massey, Ontario
• Students should bring questions forward to Mr. Mantha at the next meeting
• I have written a letter to the people who I thought would be involved, no replies as of yet.
• There is strength in numbers, not getting anywhere with one letter from one person. We should eb worrying aabout all areas. Timing of the spray, multiple chemicals, multiple industries.
• Look at the website, the information from these sessions will be there.
• This group of Anishnawbek signed treaties with the government, the treaties are between Canada and the First Nation, now the provinces are causing trouble.
• Keep inventory of what we have this time of year to prepare for the winter season. The government doesn’t take stocks, they can disappear and not know until it is too late to fix it.
• We have the townships here because they can’t get no where with their own people
• We are taking stocks to make sure we have enough for the next 7 generations.
• Parents need to help the children with this battle. Maybe the great grandchildren will be able to eat the liver again. We are forced to eat and drink dirty food.
• Employment has dwindled brush cutters, replaced by spray. Employment can spike
Blake Commanda – Serpent River First Nation
• There is pollution all around the road, the airplanes – jet fuel chemical trails acid in these chemical trails it is falling to the earth landing on our plants. We need to get them to change their fuel or pathways.
Pamela Perrault – Garden River
• It wasn’t too long ago I was sitting here listening to the elders. I am almost done PhD in forestry
• If I put a wood stove in my house do I have enough wood to sustain my home?
• Now that I am making my own family I am starting to think differently, root cellar, root house.
• What happens when there was no electricity and there is no parents to rely on?
• I asked my dad when I grow up, what should I do? I went to school to study fish. I learned at school that the fish are tied to the forest. The earth is made perfect. We need to learn how to manage ourselves.
• I know a lot about the sciences, I am learning about human behaviour.
• You grow up quick, what are you going to do when it is your turn?
• My role is take the words and put them on the paper for the elders.
Chief Reg Niganobe – Mississaugi First Nation
• Asks if there are any comments ( youth / elders )
• Concerned about the traditional territory and the spraying, you don’t have to go far to see this.
• There are signs there, but do the animals read these signs? NO
• People are picking berries and selling them to the people on the highway, they are sending them all over. Our people are eating this. Be aware of the nuclear waste also, we have to protect our areas.
• Ranger Lake, Bark Lake, Spend summer in these areas, still do.
Grace Manitowabi _ Sagamok
• To talk about Chief & Council meeting, please bring awareness about this issue. I was hoping more people would show up, but maybe next meeting there will be more.
• Thanks to Lewis and elders attending and coming to help us.
• Students any concerns, voice it now?
• Request to invite them back to do a little presentation
• We are not alone in this we have a neighboring town who are suffering, we should share our information with them so we can help them help us.
• Refers to website www.tekelders.weebly.com
• 3 weeks ago a black birds on the road. One was dead, one was staggering, on my way back home the other bird was dead.
Next discussion will be on plan of action, what should we be doing.
Carol Hughes is presenting the resolution to office. October we will have more answers
Doctor of the environment from Toronto will come present information on this chemical.
TK has a legal binding to bring information the government to make sure the knowledge is given.
The next meeting will contain more emotions, there will be in depth conversations, prepare yourself for the emotions, this will not go away over night. They will say close the door, stop looking at it, but we will not close the door no more, we have to speak up its all about money. Money does funny things to people. MNR is squirming because they are afraid of us talking about it. When I was younger, I would cut in the bush, now they use sprays.
Request for donations to keep this group going, unable to provide lunch for the meetings
Main reason for elders not attending meetings, because they have to attend a doctors appointment.
• Bio accumulation. Accumulation Impacts, research these terms, bring back questions about this for the Ministers.
• Calmative Impact – multiple levels of items build up on the earth and cause great impacts
• Description of terms offered to students
Closing Prayer offered by Grace Manitowabi
TEK Minutes recorded as written. Open feedback discussions 09/16/14